Since retiring from active military service as a US Marine aviator, Lewie Amick has been a builder on a mission. His military service included several tours of combat duty where he saw first-hand the devastation and destruction associated with war and aggression. Amick connects his past experience and present commitments as a community builder, working to improve the lives of others.
MEG'S HOUSE, The Shelter for Abused Women, serving a three county area, is the community service agency Amick is rebuilding. In 1997, Amick approached his church pastor seeking suggestions of community service agencies needing hands-on volunteer assistance. His pastor immediately referred him to MEG'S HOUSE, indicating that the shelter needed a volunteer to supervise renovations required for handicap-accessibility.
Amick prepared plans and launched into the project. He secured estimates from suppliers, licensed sub-contractors and garnered contributions from local material suppliers. He also did most of the labor. His personal volunteer efforts, with no reimbursement, brought the shelter into compliance for handicap accessibility.
This project led Amick into renovating a transitional apartment MEG uses to assist victims into moving from the shelter into independent living. Again, Amick secured all materials, at no cost or below cost, and provided all the labor himself. MEG'S HOUSE now has a completely renovated, first-class transitional apartment as part of its service to abuse victims. The cost savings to the shelter for these two projects was $7,000.
Currently, Amick is involved in providing MEG with a permanent residence. Previously, MEG'S HOUSE had leased a physical plant that was in serious disrepair. Grant funding for MEG'S HOUSE was barely sufficient to meet service needs for 300 clients per year. There were no reserves for repairs and renovation. In order to stay open, MEG'S HOUSE had to find a new, permanent location. MEG'S HOUSE recently purchased, for $60,000, a large home in need of major renovation. The new property, after renovation, will be valued at $300,000. Amick immediately volunteered to help with the renovation, investing more than 950 volunteer hours, working with businesses, industry suppliers, and other volunteers to coordinate the project.
"His work leaves you speechless," states Dr. Rebecca Lee-Grigg, Executive Director, MEG'S HOUSE. "It's just like having a hired contractor. He was out for about five weeks this year with illness, but came right back as soon as possible. He has given more than 5,000 hours of service to us."