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Volunteers help Aurora theater victim live better

9:30 AM, Jan 18, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER (KUSA) -- Long after some of the physical wound heals, there is the reality that life will never be the same for many survivors of the Aurora theater shooting.

The Home Builders Foundation of Metro Denver is helping them overcome some of the obstacles they face.

In a condominium in Denver, a team is working to make the space accessible. Two volunteers work to gut a bathroom. They've already widened every doorway in the place. They will soon tear up the carpet and replace it with wood flooring. The kitchen will be transformed so a wheelchair can easily maneuver through the room.

"We think about what it would feel like to wake up one morning and not be able to bathe yourself or move through your home," Mike Tayloe said.

That sensitivity compels Tayloe with the Home Builders Foundation.

"Our volunteers use the skills we have and our time to help people gain independence and dignity," Tayloe said.

The Homebuilders Foundation has been helping individuals with disabilities and financial need for a decade. The organization was in its infancy in the years after the Columbine Tragedy; they helped five survivors of the school shooting.

The non-profit organization has helped three victims of the Aurora theatre shooting.

"Craig Hospital is one of our greatest partners," Tayloe said. "They were helping so many people hurt in this tragedy and they reached out to us."

Tayloe is grateful they did.

"For us, it just comes second nature to jump in to help on these projects," he said.

The survivor, whose condo is being remodeled, isn't comfortable sharing her story publicly yet.

This is the kind of change powered by kindness, that is needed after change brought by cowardly violence.

"You hear about it and read about it in the paper all the time, so for us to be able to come out here and shed some positive things that we can do for our neighbors," Tayloe said.

The work in the condo is well underway but the organization still needs to find a donor for the flooring and the kind of oven that is needed.

It is a $20,000 project. All the labor is donated, and most of the materials too.

Whether the donations come, Tayloe says they will finish.

"This is too important to wait," he said.

If you'd like to make a donation to help the project, you can find information at their website.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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