Local trade school students help elderly Kansas City woman fix up her home

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A local trade school is taking the talents of its students out into the community. The students and graduates are from New Reflections Technical Institute, and they're putting their training to good use, helping a widow fix up her house.

The work will come in handy, and ultimately allow the woman to stay in her home.

“Everything`s just really going bad,” said 77-year-old Roberta Dayberry, who has lived in her Kansas City home for 51 years.

“My husband kept it up good until he died, and that was almost three years ago,” Dayberry added.

She now lives alone and says the upkeep of her almost 100-year-old home is too much.

“It just deteriorates,” Dayberry said, “I didn`t have anybody to help me.”

That is, until some students and graduates from New Reflections came to her rescue.

“We came out to help Mrs. Dayberry with her house, she has been a pillar in the community, and really needed help being a senior citizen and we helped paint her house, and do a lot of woodwork and a lot of different things to make her life a little easier because she deserves it,” said Mark Byrd, president and founder of New Reflections.

The school promotes non-violence, giving back to the community, and helps train people in certain technical skills to get jobs, and keep them on a positive life path.

“It`s called OJT - on the job training - we have to get them some skills sets, so they can use those hands, and now they can go get jobs and make a good earning for themselves,” added Byrd.

Now the group is getting to practice their skills -- while helping Dayberry.

“It goes hand in hand, I`ll be helping myself and the people around me with the skills I`m learning, it`s like helping myself is helping everyone else, and helping everyone else is helping myself,” said Reginald Harper, who is helping fix up the house, “Knowing that I put all this into it, and the results of it are the way I wanted it to look, it just makes me feel good.”

“I think it`s a miracle, to me it is, I didn`t have anybody that would help me, and I`m just all alone,” said Dayberry.

“A lot of times, you`re on a fixed income, and things are set, you have to have a way to do these major projects, like painting a house or making major repairs,” Byrd said.

They're cleaning, painting, doing some woodwork, and general maintenance.

Dayberry says without the help, she would have had to move.

“I wouldn`t have been able to stay in it this winter the way it was,” says Dayberry, “They`re just wonderful, all of them.”

Dayberry says she couldn't be more thankful for all of their help.

For more information about New Reflections, click on this link.