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Cooper Students, Honeywell Help Local Veteran

On Oct. 11, 50 local volunteers helped repair and update Air Force veteran William Jaskulke and his wife, Sharon's 90-year-old Minneapolis home.

At 58 years old, Minneapolis resident William Jaskulke never thought he'd be out of a job. Jaskulke enlisted in the Air Force in 1972 and, after working as  a crew chief on an in-flight refuler, he got a job as a painter--a job he kept for 15 years.

Last year, Jaskulke was laid off. Although he sent out more than 100 resumes, he struggled to find full-time work. Home repair needs and utility bills started piling up.

Without steady income, Jaskulke contacted the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans, looking for help. When he found out that 50 local volunteers were going to come to his house and spend the day making upgrades and repairs, he was floored.

"When I found out that these volunteers were coming to help me, it was like winning the lottery," Jaskulke said. "We would never be able to afford this."

On Oct. 11, 40 volunteers from Honeywell and 10 volunteers from Robbinsdale Cooper High School gathered at the Jaskulke residence to make much needed repairs to the 90-year-old Minneapolis home. 

Both volunteer groups partnered with Rebuilding Together Twin Cities, a local chapter of a national organization that provides free home repairs for those in need.

A French drain, a new paver sidewalk, fresh paint and an exterior power wash are a few of the improvements that were made.

"What a great opportunity, a month before Veteran's Day, to bring together employees, students and Rebuilding Together to support a veteran in our community," Paul Orzeske, president of Honeywell Building Solutions, said in a press release. "The fact that our volunteers got to work alongside the Jaskulkes during the project made the day even more meaningful."

Even with the help, Jaskulke is still hunting for work. "I'm a hard worker," Jaskulke said. "But it's tough to find a job these days. These volunteers have no idea how much they've helped."

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