Columbia, SC (WLTX)- Since 1996 Homeworks of America has been changing lives. It's not just the homeowners who are impacted but also those volunteering their time.

Thursday morning, Fort Jackson soldiers and other volunteers were hard at work on two different homes in Columbia.

"A lot of people don't know what the military does. They think we just fight in the war but we really do help the community," said Private Mathis Ellis.

Ellis and his battle buddies traded in their weapons for home repair tools at Glondine Parker's home on Smith Avenue.

"These are soldiers who couldn't get home for Christmas," said Hank Chardos with Homeworks of America.

The faith-based nonprofit was founded in 1996. Their goal is to repair homes of homeowners in need, assist youth and empower communities.

Ms. Parker is one of those homeowners in need, she is a single mother who battled an illness over the past couple years. As a result home repairs took a back seat.

Parker says this is a Christmas gift worth waiting for.

"This has made my Christmas because this is something I have been wanting done for a long time and I had no way of getting it done. This is like a Christmas present and a New Year's present all in one."

If you would like to volunteer you can contact Hank Chardos at (803) 206-6974 or email him at

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