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Volunteers Repair WWII Vet’s Springfield Home

rebuild bacon streetSPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Over the last two decades, Rebuilding Together has repaired more than 500 Springfield homes.

Today, they completed work at house on Bacon Road for a very deserving homeowner.

After serving in the South Pacific during World War II, Navy vet Bob Northwood moved to Arizona with his family, where he worked as an accountant for more than 40 years.

In 2006, Bob decided it was time to come home to Massachusetts.

“We couldn’t move to the Cape, it was too expensive,” laughs Northwood. “So we were lucky to find Springfield.”

But at 91 years old, it’s tough to keep up with house work. So this morning, 30-plus volunteers descended upon his Bacon Road home.

“The house, obviously, you can see really needs a lot of painting,” says Colleen Loveless, executive director of Rebuilding Together Springfield. “There’s also some safety issues, due to his disability, as far as hand-railings that are not here on the house, the sidewalk was cracked and broken.”

“Those are the various things we hoped that we could do when we came, but health didn’t help us along — health and time,” says Northwood.

Almost all of the volunteers donating their time Wednesday are part of the “Blue Crew,” a team of Blue Cross Blue Shield employees participating in the company’s annual service day.

“This is our biggest service day of the year, where we have almost 3,000 employees out across the state, 38 different sites, 16 different cities and towns,” says Bruce Bullen, chief operating officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts.

Northwood still volunteers himself, offering his accounting expertise to Trinity United Methodist Church in Springfield. This morning, he was floored to see so many people donating their time to him.

“Wonderful to have young people like that helping us out,” says Northwood. “It’s terrific, it’s terrific news.”

Youth volunteers from the U.M. ARMY actually began repairs on Bob’s home in June, but rain kept them from completing most of the outside work.

Volunteers are expected to complete repairs around 3 p.m. Wednesday.

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WGGB encourages readers to share their thoughts and engage in healthy dialogue about the issues. Comments containing personal attacks, profanity, offensive language or advertising will be removed. Please use the report comment function for any posts you feel should be reviewed. Thank you.
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