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May 10, 2023

AEP Volunteers Pitch in to Help Homeowners in Need

A group of AEP volunteers helped vulnerable homeowners during Modcon Living's recent Rebuilding a Healthy Neighborhood event.

AEP sponsors two homes during the event, supplying both volunteers and funding to keep vulnerable central Ohio homeowners safe, warm and dry in their homes. Projects range from installing smoke detectors and bathroom grab bars to replacing door locks and flooring.

Justin Jent, environmental specialist consultant, served as one of AEP's house captains. He began volunteering for this event with other Environmental Services team members in 2017.

"It feels great to spend a day with the AEP team, pitching in any way we can, and meeting these homeowners who are so grateful for the help," Jent said. "This year, we shaved some doors so they wouldn't stick in the doorjamb. Our homeowner, who lives alone, shared that she had been afraid to close the bathroom or bedroom door for years in case she got trapped without a way to call for help."

Mary Berkley, planning and engineering supervisor, served as AEP's second house captain. She has been on Modcon Living's board of trustees for five years, currently as an executive committee member.

"As Columbus grows and the cost of living rises, it is more important than ever to ensure that seniors, people with disabilities, and veterans in our community get the help they need to remain safe in their homes," Berkley said.

Rebuilding a Healthy Neighborhood works in the same neighborhood in Franklin County for 3 to 4 consecutive years. Modcon Living supports vulnerable homeowners year-round through their Safe at Home program, Tool Library, and ModSquad handyperson services. Tool Library membership fees are set on a sliding scale based on income. This allows low-income residents to borrow home maintenance tools like lawnmowers for free. Every time ModSquad is hired for a handyman job, the money goes directly back to funding emergency home repairs for a resident who can't afford it. The AEP Foundation is a sponsor of Modcon Living. 

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