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Home improvement fundraiser underway for man who has become a fixture in the city of Sylacauga


SYLACAUGA, Ala. – If you have driven down N. Main Ave. in Sylacauga, chances are you know John Willie (J.W.) McELrath.

McElrath is the man who sits on the front porch of his house and waves at everyone, from school children to nurses to, well, pretty much anyone who goes by.

“It doesn’t matter the time of day; he is sitting there enjoying the children and the people that come by. It doesn’t matter what the weather is. It can be freezing cold or scorching hot or somewhere in between, and he is still there,” according to his son, Broziski McELrath.

According to his son, McELrath needs some help from the community that he has been a part of for so long.

“This all got started when I posted on Facebook, asking for recommendations for licensed contractors for our home,” said Broziski. “We needed some work done around the house and people in the community kept asking how they could help. It was suggested that I start him a GoFund Me account. I am trying to get the home upgraded and handicap accessible.”

His son told electrical work, plumbing and carpentry are specific needs for the home and needs to be done as soon as possible.

The GoFund Me account started with an initial goal of $5,000 for home repairs but quickly surpassed that goal with nearly 230 donors. With the current donations, McELrath has a new refrigerator, stove and cabinets.

McELrath’s home still needs a new kitchen sink, air conditioning and some electrical work.

Donations of cash, supplies and skilled labor for other home improvements are welcome and no one will be turned away.

“We are so grateful for all of the donations,” said Broziski.

For more information about how you can help or donate, click here or contact 256-267-2052.

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