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Department of Hopeful News

Stories of people giving their time, money, brains and muscle to people in need never grow tiresome, and we could use them now more than ever. I would like to bring more of them to you in this space in the new Department of Hopeful News. Call it DHN, considering that this is Washington and that's how we're expected to talk around here.

The first volunteer effort in the spotlight is a big home-rehabilitation blitz planned for March 21-22 in Northeast D.C., to fix safety hazards and boost wheelchair accessibility in the home of a disabled Vietnam War veteran.

It's a pilot project being undertaken by the American Society of Interior Designers Foundation and the charity Rebuilding Together, whose work includes veterans' housing program. Interior designers, engineers and construction workers, including volunteers from Bolling Air Force Base, will overhaul the gentleman's main bathroom, installing a new roll-in shower for easier access. Over two days, volunteers also plan to build a new wheelchair ramp, install handrails and grab-bars and repair a bathroom for his caretaker. They will be painting, plastering and making drywall repairs. If this pilot takes off, leaders of the designers' group say they hope the project will spread to their chapters throughout the country.

Do you have nominations for the Department of Hopeful Stuff? Whether the work is great or small, share it here or let me know about it at

By Elizabeth Razzi  |  March 19, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
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