CLIFTON – A wheelchair bound veteran from Clifton is finally getting the help he deserves and is now receiving a new roof thanks to three local organizations.
“I never really go out and ask for a lot of stuff,” says Jim Hodgins, an 81-year-old army veteran. “There’s a lot of people worse than me.”
Jim lives in Clifton and is known for his caring nature.
“Jim, he’s a very rare type of guy,” says Doc Goodwin, founder of the Maine Veterans Project. “He cares a lot about others more than he cares about himself.”
You might remember him as the former owner of Clifton Variety.
Members of the community seem to remember him well.
“It’s nice to know they think of you that way,” says Hodgins.
Jim survived 6 gunshot wounds after a robbery attempt at his store 20 years ago.
Leaving him wheelchair bound for the rest of his life.
“I’m just lucky to be alive,” he says.
Now he lives in a converted space with a leaky roof.
His aid worker reached out to the Maine Veterans Project recently asking for help with the ceiling.
Now a nearly $15,000 job is now becoming possible.
“We just had to,” says Goodwin, “We just had to find a way to make it work.”
The Maine Veterans Project then enlisted the help from Roof Systems of Maine and A.M. Roofing to fix that leaky roof.
“It’s bad, you know it leaks, the shingles are bad, the flat roofs are bad,” say Lee Corro, President of Roof Systems of Maine. “So we’re just going to go ahead and replace everything.”
The supplies and labor is all donated by the two companies free of charge.
The three groups, giving back to someone who has given so much to his country and community.
But the outpouring of support has not stopped there.
More people have learned Jim’s story since the project began and those touched by his hard times sent him hundreds of Christmas cards which he now proudly displays in his home.
“It took a lot of my time answering them all,” Hodgins says laughing.
The project is expected to take around five to six business days to complete as workers brave the cold to give back to a local veteran.
“It’s not for any other reason,” says Corro. “It’s just to help people out that have fallen on some bad times, that’s the only reason we do it.”