Catholic HEART Workcamp assist disabled Ellendale man

Volunteers help with home repairs
July 11, 2018

Story Location:
Ellendale  Delaware  19941
United States

Jerry Guyer, an Ellendale resident for over 30 years, has a freshly painted ramp leading to his front door and shed, thanks to a group of volunteers from the Catholic HEART Workcamp. 

In Feb. 2010, Guyer, now 55, fell on ice during the blizzards. He was seriously injured, and has been disabled since. “I have such severe back problems that I can’t have surgery or I won’t be able to walk,” Guyer said. “”I’m in constant pain.”

For the last three years, the Catholic HEART Workcamp has sent volunteers to Guyer’s home to assist with necessary repairs that Guyer has not been able to keep up with, such as painting and repainting his home, his ramp, a propane enclosure and his bathroom. 

Haleigh Merriman, 16, of Wall, N.J., said she got involved with the organization because her friend had been doing it, and she thought it sounded like a wonderful idea. “I’ll definitely continue volunteering through high school,” Merriman said. 

Not all of the volunteer missions involve painting, though. “Last year we were pulling weeds and cleaning cemeteries,” said Patrick Cozens, 15. 

“They’re doing it like professionals, getting down on their hands and knees,”  Guyer said as the volunteers sanded and painted his ramp. “They’re wonderful.”

Out of the 150 volunteers with the Catholic HEART Workcamp, seven were sent to Guyer’s home. Not all of the volunteers know each other beforehand, though. “Usually you get paired up with someone you know,” said Cozens

The volunteers are from all over the country, and are staying at the St. Thomas More Academy in Magnolia. “They house us and feed us there,” said chaperone Mark DeSomme. 

“They’re just absolutely wonderful,” Guyer said as he stood in amazement at what was being done to his home.

For more information about Catholic HEART Workcamp, go to