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Mission to rebuild

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Mark Keim (left) and Chief  Master Sgt. Jay Scinto saw wood

Lori Moore/Boeing

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Mark Keim (left) and Chief Master Sgt. Jay Scinto saw wood in the backyard of a house being renovated by Boeing and local Air Force volunteers from nearby Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

Boeing employees usually work alongside their military customers on defense projects. But on a recent crisp, fall morning, Boeing and the U.S. Air Force teamed up on a different kind of mission: repairing a house in a low-income St. Louis community.

Terry Langerman, director of Defense Logistics Agency support programs for Boeing’s Integrated Logistics division, assembled a team of 15 Boeing and Air Force volunteers to repair the modest, three-story brick home on Oct. 23. The residence belongs to Josanna Davis, who has devoted her life to helping troubled teens in the gang-riddled neighborhood while struggling to raise three grandchildren.

The volunteers installed insulated windows, repainted the living and dining rooms, and updated plumbing and bathtubs. They worked through Rebuilding Together-St. Louis, a non-profit that organized the project and provided the materials.

“This is my first experience with the Rebuilding Together program,” said Langerman. “I learned that there are many inspiring Boeing employees who are dedicated to this program and volunteer on a regular basis – my hat’s off to them for making a difference.”

The Air Force volunteers, who work on the C-17 program at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., said their daily collaboration with Boeing on important assignments uniquely prepared them for this “mission.”

Boeing employees Jennifer Alexander (left) and Jennifer  Voelker place tape on the floor

Lori Moore/Boeing

Boeing employees Jennifer Alexander (left) and Jennifer Voelker place tape on the floor before painting the walls of a St. Louis house they are renovating with other Boeing and U.S. Air Force volunteers.

“It’s nice to give back and use the things we have been taught,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jay Scinto. “We have the skill sets, so we might as well bring them to the fight, so to speak. On a project like this, we all feel good about contributing.”

Davis said she doesn’t know what she would have done without the help.

“My home was falling apart, and with winter coming, I don’t know how I would have kept my boys warm,” she said.

Rebuilding Together-St. Louis is an affiliate of Rebuilding Together, a national organization that partners with communities to revitalize neighborhoods by rehabilitating the houses of low-income homeowners, particularly the elderly and the disabled.

Boeing has teamed with Rebuilding Together for six years. In 2005, 170 Boeing volunteers restored eight homes. Since then, those numbers have grown to 1,200 Boeing volunteers improving 54 homes this year alone.

Sitting on the front steps of her newly renovated home, Davis shook her head.

“I don’t know what to say,” she said. “So many people helping me – it’s a miracle.”