A local home and school for troubled boys is expanding. Chestnut Mountain Ranch in Monongalia County is building a new home for the boys in just one week.
"Sunday we just had the basement walls up and some of the decking and it was covered in about 5 inches of snow," said Steve Finn, the executive director of the Ranch.
Once the volunteers from Coca Cola Bottling and a group called "God's Pit Crew" arrived on the ranch, it didn't stay that way for long. Volunteers rolled up their sleeves and got to work, including the CEO of Coca Cola Bottling, Hank Flint.
"Just had the opportunity to speak with the boys here in the basement for lunch," Flint explained, "the opportunity to be on the roof and hammer some nails, which I'm not qualified to do."
Flint has plenty of help, though. More than 100 people are at the Ranch this week building the second home for boys on the property.
Every day, the need for more beds at the Ranch grows.
"Over the last 4 weeks we've probably had about nine boys call for placement here at the Ranch," Finn said.
After they arrive, the staff get boys caught up in school and used faith-based counseling to help them with family, social, or behavioral issues. Coca-Cola's leaders found out about the work going on at the Ranch years ago and have been supporters ever since.
"We're behind it with our hearts and we're behind it with our souls and we're behind it with our hands and our feet," Flint said.
The Ranch has expanded slowly over the last seven years, relying on donations and volunteer hours instead of debt. Weeks like this help that patience pay off.
"It's a humbling experience to see 120 people come out in 5 days to help us get this far," Finn said.
When the crews leave at the end of the week, Finn expects the home will be totally enclosed. Then, the Ranch will still need more money and volunteers to complete the plumbing, wiring, and other finishing touches to make the home livable.