Pictured are Chore-Time Brock and DR Lubricants employees and a Grace College student working on building a deck at the trailer of Donald Burkhart in Westhaven Estates in Warsaw during Wednesday’s annual United Way Day Of Caring. There were 44 homes in Kosciusko County that received improvements. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union
Pictured are Chore-Time Brock and DR Lubricants employees and a Grace College student working on building a deck at the trailer of Donald Burkhart in Westhaven Estates in Warsaw during Wednesday’s annual United Way Day Of Caring. There were 44 homes in Kosciusko County that received improvements. Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union

Volunteers rolled up their sleeves Wednesday and completed improvements to 44 homes in Kosciusko County during United Way Day Of Caring.
There were 21 homes in Warsaw improved as well as one each in Burket, Milford, Leesburg and Winona Lake; two each in Cromwell, North Webster and Syracuse; three each in Claypool and Silver Lake; and seven in Pierceton.
Volunteers from Chore-Time Brock, Grace College and DR Lubricants, Fort Wayne, built a deck for Donald Burkhart, 83, a Westhaven Estates resident who is blind and has lived in his trailer for seven years.
Burkhart’s daughter, Erica Burkhart, submitted an application for him to receive the deck. His wife, Alice, passed away seven years ago.
“My dad stays in the house and doesn’t feel safe going places because he can’t see well, so I figure this is the safest way for him to get sunshine out on the deck,” Erica said.
Donald said he became partially blind at 17 when he worked in the coal mines and got his head crushed. Burkhart said he had six skull fractures.
“From then on I had trouble seeing and became blind at age 70 and can now only see shadows,” he said.
He hasn’t been able to drive for the past 22 years due to his blindness.
Donald said he is appreciative to receive a deck that he will enjoy with his daughter and grandchildren.
“I haven’t been out in the yard by myself in six years because I’m afraid I will step in a hole and fall, so the deck will allow me to sit on the porch with a railing,” Donald said.
Jason Avery, Chore-Time Brock employee, who helped work on the deck, said it was his second year for participating in Day Of Caring.
“It is very rewarding to help, and our goal is to give him an outside living room and this will give him an area where he can come outside and enjoy the weather,” Avery said.
Kyle Bloomster, a senior Grace College youth ministries major, said it was his second year for volunteering for Day Of Caring.
“I love to help other people and it means a lot to come out to do work he can’t do and to have that opportunity,” Bloomster said.
Volunteers from DePuy built an outdoor elevated walkway in Westhaven Estates at the trailer of Virginia Lucht, 87. She has lived in the trailer for nine years and said it was difficult for her to get in and out of the current walkway.
There was a railing that was in the way of opening and closing the door, and the current elevated walkway was too small for her to enter and exit the trailer.
Dwight Todd, DePuy employee, said it was his second year for participating in Day Of Caring.
“We all have family in different situations, and in her case she is getting older and I have parents who are getting older so it is about helping people out who need help,” Todd said.
Biomet and Grace College volunteers worked on insulating a utility closet in the garage that linked to a sewing room at the home of Kate Christian, Baker Street, Warsaw. They also installed a door on the closet and a handicapped bar in Christian’s bathroom.
Christian gets around in a motorized wheel chair, and had her left leg amputated after being in a car accident.
“The insulation will help me be warmer this winter when I am sewing,” Christian said.
Luke White, Biomet design quality engineer, said he was happy to help with the efforts.
“It is a nice feeling to help out and lets us meet the needs of others. All of us feel like we are in a fortunate situation to help,” White said.
Savannah Balluch, a sophomore communications and psychology major, said it was her first year for participating in Day Of Caring.
“It is cool to show God’s love to other people by volunteering,” Balluch said.
Participating companies in this year’s Day Of Caring were: Akzo Nobel, RR Donnelly, DePuy Synthes, North Webster United Methodist Church, Zimmer, Chore- Time Brock, Kosciusko Community Hospital, Biomet, Paragon, Syracuse Rotary, Lake City Bank, Bowen Center, PayPro Media, Warsaw Women’s Center, Combined Community Services, Heartline Pregnancy, Beaman Home, Kosciusko Literacy Services, Kosciusko YMCA, Syracuse Police Department and Ace Hardware.
Places that served lunch to volunteers included: Burket Church of God, Claypool United Methodist Church, Milford Kiwanis at Milford Fire Department, North Webster Church of God, Pierceton Presbyterian Church, Silver Lake Wesleyan Church, Syracuse American Legion, First Christian Church of Warsaw, Touch of Life Church, New Hope Baptist Church and New Life Christian Church.