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Published: 4/26/2002

Church steps in to aid growing Adrian family

BY JULIE NJAIM
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Tim Yerrick watches as volunteers work on the addition being put on his Adrian home. Tim Yerrick watches as volunteers work on the addition being put on his Adrian home.
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ADRIAN - Volunteers from First Presbyterian Church of Adrian are trading their Sunday best for jeans and hammers this weekend to help Tim and Lois Yerrick expand their house to accommodate their growing family.

Last month, the Yerricks, both 54, adopted two sisters, ages 11 and 13. They are guardians of a 5-year-old boy who recently moved in full time. And one of their grown daughters unexpectedly moved back into the couple's cozy southwest Adrian ranch house.

The three-bedroom, one-bathroom house was just too small for their additions.

“We were sleeping in the basement,” Mr. Yerrick said. “We either needed to add on or we needed to move.”

When the family votes were tallied, “I was the only one willing to move,” he said.

The $30,000 to $40,000 second-story addition was too pricey to secure an equity loan from a bank, Mr. Yerrick said.

“People from church heard about it and they just kind of decided this is God's handiwork here, and they needed to pitch in and help with this project,” Mr. Yerrick said.

More than 75 of the church's 300 members signed a wallboard in the church's sanctuary promising to bring food, offer prayers, and build the second story, said Pastor John Guthrie. Friends and friends of friends have rallied to their support too, Mr. Yerrick said.

The project should be completed by the fall. Church volunteers are to work on the house Thursdays and Saturdays until the project is complete.

The signed wallboard will be built into the Yerricks' home. “We wrote our names in the back of the board. The family will know all of our names will be in that wall somewhere,” said Pastor Guthrie, who picked up tools yesterday and got to work.

“He enjoys getting on his flannel shirt and blue jeans and coming out and swinging a hammer,” Mr. Yerrick said.

Anonymous donors put up the money for a one-year, interest-free loan for the Yerricks. Once the addition has been built, Mr. Yerrick, said the house will be appraised again, and they'll be able to secure an equity loan and pay back the church money.

The outpouring of generosity from their fellow church members is “absolutely priceless,” Mr. Yerrick said.

Mr. Yerrick, a job-setter with GM Powertrain in Toledo, has experience as a contractor. He drew the plans for the addition. His wife, who works for Catholic Social Services in Adrian is no stranger to construction, either.

“She helped me form up the foundation for the garage. She's pretty handy with tools,” Mr. Yerrick said. “We're not contracting anything out.”

Church members Susan and Jerry Prater plan to work about 20 hours on the Yerrick home this weekend.

“I would be more of the errand runner, helping to feed the people “ Mrs. Prater said.

Her husband will do the manual labor. Mrs. Prater said she admires the Yerricks' strong sense of family and wants to help make their home more comfortable.

“It's the least I can do for them after what they've done. What I'm doing is so small in comparison to what they've done.”



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