NeighborWorks Helping Seniors in Scranton

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SCRANTON, Pa. -- Teenagers from all over the country are descending on Lackawanna County this week ready to work. They'll be making home repairs for seniors, and in many cases, getting something in return.

Matthew Schraeder knows a thing or two about commitment. He and his wife Marcy celebrated a big anniversary last week.

"50 years, and she's my soul mate. At times, I'm a pain the neck like any man, but she's my soul mate," Schraeder said.

For the past five years, Matthew's had to help Marcy get around. They make it work, but even the strongest relationships need a little reinforcement.

A group of volunteers, mostly teenagers, are at the Schraeder's home on North Van Buren Avenue in Scranton building Marcy a brand new wheelchair ramp, something the Schraeders say they wouldn't be able to afford without some help.

"She wanted all these flowers to get rid of them. She said you could blacktop them, but she loves them. I love taking care of them in the front and the back."

Now, Marcy's flowers can stay, thanks to NeighborWorks NEPA, which arranges the team of volunteers who are helping 20 seniors this week in the Scranton area.

"You know, when you're disabled, and you're in the chair, you're always afraid. Is the wheel going to get stuck in one of them ruts? This is gorgeous. They're putting such support underneath it," Marcy Schraeder said.

When they're done with the ramp, this group will move on to a different house.

"Just to know that, I mean, everything that they're going through, all their struggles, we can make it that much easier for them. It's rewarding to know that," said Sharon McCarthy from Connecticut.

They'll leave each other with something intangible.

"It's uplifting, especially when you're older, you know? The kids have to do this and that, you don't have people around you, and somedays could be lonely when you can't get out every day. It's just so wonderful, we just love it."

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