School closings & delays

Volunteers help widowed Veteran, mom of 4

GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A local Army veteran and mother of four is receiving some serious home upgrades courtesy of a program organized by The Home Depot and Heart of West Michigan United Way.

Brandi Secrist lost her husband while he was serving in the military. She was in the Army herself for four years. She now cares for their four children, two of whom were born with special needs.

Her 4-year-old son has autism, while her 3-year-old son is living with severe cerebral palsy.

On Friday, volunteers from both organizations came to her home in Jension to perform a laundry list of upgrades to her family home.

“Getting outside and doing all this is practically impossible for me. So its greatly appreciated,” Secrist said.

The volunteer workers created a campground-like space in their backyard, with a special swing set designed for her children's needs.

Jana Vugtebeen, the store manager at the Home Depot in Grandville, said Secrist's story came to their attention via social media.

"I actually found her on social media through another business in town that was helping her out as well and wanted to know what we could do to help her with Home Depot," Vugtebeen said.

Secrist is extremely grateful for everyone involved to make these upgrades possible.

"It's greatly appreciated that a bunch of people would take time out of their day to come freeze out here with us and help a local family out," she said.

Heart of West Michigan United Way and The Home Depot will be doing another round of volunteer work come springtime. Donations to help fund the project can be made on the organization's website.

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