The Town of Justin has a long, rich history of small-town charm and a sense of community. Even with all of the growth, not a lot has changed with the heart of the city. Justin is a place where the residents will always rally together to support neighbors in times of need.
One need came in the form of Vietnam veteran, Richard Cropper, and his home that needed a little TLC. What started as a simple gesture to offer assistance in cleaning up his neighbor’s yard quickly turned into a citywide project.
Blake Moore, a Navy veteran and Cropper’s neighbor, realized there was more that needed to be done. From a broken window to a leaking roof and bad plumbing, Moore knew this would be more than what he could do on his own. And, after a road bump with the original contractor, the veteran’s home was left gutted with no clear direction of how it was going to get finished.
That’s when James Clark, James Castle, and Gino Montague came along. Residents who could help with the labor managed the day-to-day operations of coordinating a complete home renovation to finish out Moore’s desire to help his fellow veteran.
Volunteers and businesses quickly came together to graciously donate their time and construction materials, as well.
“There are many, many people and businesses that are assisting us,” Clark said. “From Ace Hardware and J. Riley Roofing to Bloomfield Homes, Martin and Sons Air Conditioning, and Joe’s Pizza and Outlaw Burger.”
Many churches in the area have donated, as well as a few motorcycle clubs. There is an unspoken word between veterans, and when one of their own needs help, they show up without question. Survivors United MC and Warrior Brotherhood showed up in a big way to help their brother.
Residents of Justin have played a major role in the ongoing efforts to give Richard Cropper back his home. Whether volunteering their time, purchasing items needed for the renovation, or simply sharing the story on social media, the feeling of community and love for your neighbor was ignited.
“I feel privileged to be surrounded by so many great people who are key in pulling this rebuild off,” Clark said.
Clark, Castle, and Montague have made it a point, a rule, that no monetary donations will be accepted. They simply ask those who would like to be apart of this amazing story to help with materials and labor.
One last major purchase will be the HVAC unit. The group is also collecting items for inside Cropper’s home; there is a list of items that are still needed.
“We have collected many things,” Clark said. “Honestly, the best way to track what we are asking for is to please join our Facebook group.”
The Facebook group is updated daily and tracks the progress of the home and the wins for the day. There are videos and pictures that document the nearly completed home renovation.
Clark says if they can get through the sheetrock phase of the project, the completion date will be clearer. But their hope is by the end of January.
To learn more about how you can help, join the Facebook group Justin Texas Veterans Home Project.
Special thanks to the businesses and organizations mentioned and not mentioned, as well as residents who offered their time and donations, including The Bowlings, Shea Maybe, The Rojas Family, The Blakes, the Moore Family, and many more.