Philadelphia Eagles News

Habitat, Veterans Team Up To Build Homes

On Tuesday, Earl Wolff and Emmanuel Acho joined Habitat For Humanity to help build homes for Veterans in South Philadelphia ...

Home is a place you can lay your head at night, a place you return to at the end of the day. Home is a place you can call your own.

For Rhonda Moore and Roberto Bonfante, their home is almost a reality.

Moore, a teaching artist at Temple University, and Bonfante, who works for the United Methodist Church, will have a new home in December and it's thanks to their own hands and the hands of dozens of volunteers, including a pair of Philadelphia Eagles.

Habitat for Humanity, a 2014 Eagles Care partner, has been working on the collection of six houses in the Point Breeze section of Philadelphia for months. On Tuesday, they had a whole collection of help from extra participants.

The Mission Continues, the Pat Tillman Foundation, Team Rubicon and Got Your 6 all joined up to help Habitat for Humanity work on Moore and Bonfante's house. The organizations all help military veterans volunteer and give back to their communities through work like Tuesday's build.

One of the volunteers, The Mission Continue's Ken Houston, is a military veteran who had his house renovated and revitalized by Habitat for Humanity. He said their work was a big reason he felt the need to get out and help other families in need, like Moore and Bonfante.

"(Habitat) came over and like a hurricane they just swooped over and painted the exterior, put a roof on, put in a new heating system," Houston explained. "Now I'm living very comfortably in my home in Germantown, and everyone in the neighborhood is very gracious for the service of Habitat."

So Houston decided to see how he could give back, which led him to Greenwich Street on Tuesday afternoon.

And the already-crowded work site added a little local celebrity presence to the operation when safety Earl Wolff and linebacker Emmanuel Acho showed up to lend a hand.

The volunteers, a large majority of them Eagles fans, greeted Wolff and Acho with smiles, handshakes and hard hats. Moore talked with the players for a handful of minutes, explaining her situation and thanking them for giving their time. But they weren't just here to make small talk - Wolff and Acho were going to be put to use.

On the ground, Wolff helped cement fence posts behind the house. The safety helped mix cement, hold up wooden beams and used a level to make sure everything was straight and squared away.

Acho helped on the ground as well, but he also took to the roof of Moore and Bonfante's house to help paint window frames. The young linebacker looked slightly more afraid of the heights than he does opposing running backs as he aided the painting process.

After the work, Wolff and Acho took dozens of selfies with the volunteers and talked with their newfound friends. The two, who helped beat the Houston Texans just 48 hours earlier, said their time with the volunteers and with Moore was an afternoon more than well spent.

Wolff said it meant a lot to be able to interact with veterans because of his family's long military history, including his mother, Sharon, who is in her 31st year of service in the National Guard.

"It was just good to come out here and work with them because I can kind of relate," he said. "Not relate by me being in it, but I live it through my mom and I understand what she went through. So it was great to have that conversation with them, and just talk to them and get to know them.

Acho said he appreciated the opportunity to show the veterans and volunteers just what their work and service mean to him.

"It was an awesome experience, just being able to work with veterans and helping for a greater cause," Acho said. "Now, after their service, they're able to continue serving their community, first and foremost.

"Being able to come out here and partner with them in serving the community, in life after what you were originally set out to do, that's what was one of the most beautiful things for Earl and I. It was great to come out here, lend a helping hand, be out here for an hour and let them know that we support them and what they're doing just like they support the Eagles."

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