Last updated: August 24. 2014 2:39PM - 653 Views

Volunteers tear down an old shed and clean up debris.
Volunteers tear down an old shed and clean up debris.
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After seeing many homes in Durant that were condemned or had stickers placed on them to warn the owners to bring them up to code, Terri Weir and husband Skip formed the Durant Restore and Preserve Association to assist homeowners.

Mrs. Weir said she felt compelled to offer assistance to those whose homes were in danger of being condemned, or worse, demolished. A board of directors was formed and the organization is seeking donations and volunteers.

“While the directors were busy setting up the nonprofit, the DRAPA team visited its first home,” Mrs. Weir said in an email. “It was exciting and rewarding to go to people’s homes, tell the homeowners, ‘We are here to help you,’ and actually break a sweat getting the work done. DRAPA has now assisted several homeowners with a variety of projects.”

According to Mrs. Weir, DRAPA is currently limiting projects to the front of house that is visible from the street. She said referrals from the city take priority because the owners have court deadlines to meet.

However, DRAPA will take applications through its website, and once qualified and approved, applicants are put into the schedule.

There are approximately 15 volunteers, plus access to two community service groups.

“We are working on setting up more groups through churches and businesses,” Mrs. Weir said. “We are still at the beginning stages, but we have worked with five homeowners so far and have two additional applicants we will be starting work with soon. We have assisted with bringing two homes to code and are working on a third. Others we are working with are not in violation with the city at this time. Bear in mind we only began on June 20. We have received nine applications to date.”

DRAPA also seeks to assist in the preservation of historic homes in Durant.

DRAPA is a full-fledged nonprofit organization and anyone who makes a donation may receive a tax deduction.

“The truth is, if you live in Durant, contributing to this cause helps you as well,” Mrs. Weir said. “The better your neighborhood looks, the more enjoyable your neighborhood is, and the more valuable your home is. By contributing or volunteering, you are making Durant, Okla., a better place to live. It’s win-win.”

For more information, visit www.restoredurant.org.

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