Dedicated to seniors

Woman grateful for outpouring of help

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Austin Blau, right, and Josh Hartman, from Young Construction, secure a trailer to take to the dump from Mary Tappanís house on Thursday morning. Young Construction contacted ElderHelp to volunteer their time to help clean up and rebuild Tappanís house.

ElderHelp serves roughly 600 clients during the year. It is a nonprofit organization with a mission to help low-income Kootenai County seniors stay safely and securely in their own homes as long as they can.

Its projects include installing handrails and wheelchair ramps, providing fans in the summer, weatherproofing, minor home repairs and much more.

ElderHelp is currently working with several local businesses - including Young Construction Group, Fairway Flooring and Stockwell Paint Contractors - to help clean and repair Dalton Gardens resident Mary Tappan's home.

Young Construction superintendent Tom Underdown of Coeur d'Alene said the article in Wednesday's Press, "Giving Mary a helping hand," caught the attention of Young Construction owner John Young, who sent seven workers Thursday to aid Tappan, 69, in an effort to get her home and property to meet city standard.

"He's one of the most community-minded people I've ever met," said Young Construction superintendent Tom Underdown of Coeur d'Alene, who has been with Young Construction 25 years. "Makes me proud to be a part of his company."

ElderHelp's executive director, Dustin Kloos, said the response to the article was better than he had imagined.

"I had hoped for the best with this situation; you always hope for the best, pray about it, you want the best," he said. "I'm shocked, almost like I wasn't prepared, for how many people really would reach out and want to help."

Tappan, who has several health problems, expressed her gratitude through a text message.

"I am feeling so grateful and very loved," she told The Press. "All of the help (Thursday) from the crew from Young Construction, ElderHelp (Dustin and president John Corcoran), my family, and help and donations from the community is really overwhelming ... Thank you, thank you. This is amazing. God bless."

Info: www.elderhelpofnorthidaho.org

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