CSX employee Mark Withrow was part of a crew of hundreds who recently volunteered to help give a Jacksonville disabled veteran and his family a new home. Jeffery Taylor, who sustained major physical and emotional injuries while serving in Iraq, was overcome with gratitude at the house reveal. “I can’t come up with the words. Thank you is not enough. This is the first home I have ever owned in my life,” he said.
The house, which was renovated in about a month’s time, was the first Florida project for Purple Heart Homes, a national nonprofit that matches disabled Purple Heart recipients with donated foreclosed homes. Mark, also a combat veteran, often spends vacations and weekends volunteering on Purple Heart Homes’ projects in addition to being a regular volunteer in the Jacksonville community. Working with Purple Heart Homes locally was a welcomed opportunity for him.
“Mark is always the first to volunteer his time for a friend, family, coworker, a military brother or sister, or even a total stranger,” said Gerald Chance, a fellow employee for almost 20 years. “I have never heard Mark turn anyone down that needed help.”
Mark, however, views his latest volunteer effort as the least he could do for a deserving family. “I am humbled by the experience. A little sweat and a little pain is such a small price to pay for someone who has given so much.”
The Jacksonville home’s renovation and reveal will be featured on Lifetime TV’s “Designing Spaces” in September. For more information on how to get involved with Purple Heart Homes, visit http://www.purplehearthomesusa.org.