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Firefighters volunteer time for Isaiah 117 House renovation

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CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. - The community is putting a helping hand forward to assist a nonprofit dedicated to providing for children in foster care.

The Isaiah 117 House is currently under construction in Carter County.

Monday, Elizabethton firefighters stopped by to assist on demolition for the house.

Once renovated, children in the foster care system will be able to stay at the house while Department of Children's Services workers find a proper placement.

"Any child, even if they know the placement the child is going to, is about three hours in the DCS office. We just feel that's too long for a child that's too long for a child that's scared and traumatized to sit in an office," Founder Rhonda Paulson said.

The children will have access to food, new clothing, and showers.

"Even the simplest of placements can come here for those three hours and have a bath if they want a bath, pick out an outfit for school the next day, get a backpack if they weren't allowed to bring theirs, a healthy snack, just be loved on in those moments," Paulson said.

The organization raised more than $75,000 in donations to purchase the house earlier this year and hope to open by spring of next year.

In addition to demolition, the Elizabethton Fire Department also stocked the house with fire alarms.

Paulson said members of the community have also volunteered to help with other renovations and improvements to the house, as well as stocking the house with needed resources.

Paulson said, "I'm just blown away by how much this community wants to love on these children and how all it took was awareness. People just didn't know. Now that they know what these children are going through, they want to help."

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