New house for Christmas

Published 1:09 am Saturday, November 1, 2008

Dozens of hands have come together around the Keith Shiver family with the goal of creating a better home for a family in need.

Residents of Covington County and people from throughout Alabama and surrounding states gathered at Green’s BBQ in Gantt for a spaghetti supper in early August. The approximately $7,400 raised during that event has helped boost the work currently under way to construct a new home for Lynn, Keith and their son, Luke.

Keith, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease nearly two years ago, has continued to lose muscle response and his declining condition has created a greater need for a home that can accommodate his special needs.

“A big chunk of that money is what you see right here,” Keith’s brother Kenny Shiver said. “Some of the money was spent on Keith’s medicine. We got into a spot where the insurance was not paying for the medicine and we had to pay out of pocket, but labor has been donated and the spaghetti supper paid for everything up to the concrete.”

Several local businesses have rallied troops to work on completing the home and Kenny said he has been amazed throughout the entire process.

“So many people have really gone above and beyond to help make this happen for Keith and Lynn,” he said. “John Harper stayed here until 11 p.m. (Thursday) night working with the concrete. He worked by the light of his truck to finish the work and I think it is simply amazing.”

Kenny said the goal is to complete the home before Christmas and Keith’s mother, Juanita Bowers, said she couldn’t believe how quickly the home has progressed.

“God has been good to us,” she said. “It is simply amazing to see so many people take time from their jobs and volunteer here. They are building the house in a hurry and it is simply amazing. We just appreciate everything more than any words could ever express.”

Bryan Ray, a friend of the family and a contractor within the county, said he knew the house should be built after visiting Keith one Sunday afternoon, but he did not expect so many other people to join in the effort.

“I knew Keith was sick, but I just did not know how bad it actually was until we visited him at his home,” he said. “When we left my wife said they had to have a house. Kenny told me that they were trying to get a new trailer and I said we will build a house. That’s just all there is to it.

“It makes me feel good to do something like this, but it makes me feel even better to see the community come together like this. Everyone is here working for free,” he added. “Times are hard right now and everyone needs to work and make money, but people are willing to sacrifice three or four days to come here and lend a hand. People in the community still care.”

Keith’s wife, Lynn, said she was simply amazed by the number of people who were working on the home.

“I cannot believe they came up with this much so fast,” she said. “It wasn’t anything (Thursday) and I have seen people here that I don’t even know, but I appreciate every one of them.”

Once completed, the 1,250 square foot home will be handicapped accessible with three-foot-wide doors throughout the home with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

If anyone would like to donate to the Shiver Construction account, contact Russell Barnes at Superior Bank or Tina Shiver at home by dialing (334) 388-3020 or on her cell phone by dialing (334) 488-1502.