Community donates, volunteers to help blind builder - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Community donates, volunteers to help blind builder


It's not just a one man show anymore. We first introduced you to Thomas Graham, the blind builder, in July. He is building his dream home for his family, but is completely blind. Now, the community is helping to pay for the project and volunteers show up throughout the week to pitch in.

"looks pretty good from up here, though," Graham shouted from the roof of the house.

The finish line is in site for the blind builder. Construction is going much faster now that six churches have joined the crew.

"I felt the strongest, strongest draw, and I thought I have got to go meet that gentleman," Jim Mckay, the man organizing the donations, said.

After hearing Thomas Graham's story, Jim Mckay went searching for the house to see for himself.

"He was using a nail gun when we showed up," Mckay said, he then asked, "sir, please lay that nail gun down, we want to talk to you."

"The roof was over my head so I let these guys step in," Graham said.

His sense of humor still one of his handiest tools. Thomas's son Mitchell admitted he's still shocked.

"One day we're out here, all alone, just me and him," Mitchell Graham said.

Now, more than 40 volunteers, like Dave Covalt, show up each week.

"Well, it's not a normal construction job," he said.

He's a contractor and owns his own construction company, but is working on this house for free.

"And when a bunch of volunteers show up, nobody knows who what where, you know, and so you kind of wing it, you know, like I said everybody does what they can when they can," he said.

"It's been tremendously rewarding to carry it to this point and we're going to carry it all the way to completion," Mckay said.

Though Graham insists he would have finished his house regardless, he's grateful for the extra set of hands and eyes.

"I just want to say thanks to everybody, all the donations, material and labor, it's just been a blessing," Graham said.

The group estimates it will cost about $60,0000 dollars to complete the Graham's house.

They have already raised a third of that and hope to pay for the remainder of the costs as well.

If you would like to donate money for supplies and tools to build Graham's home click here.

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