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September 01, 2020
APCo Employees Build Fence for Local Boy
Bryan Clemons had never installed a wooden fence before.
But when he heard that a family in Kingsport, Tenn. needed one to help keep a four-year-old autistic boy named Ezra out of traffic, he didn’t hesitate to take the challenge on head first.
“We saw on Facebook that the family who lived next door to my grandmother-in-law needed a fence put up,” said Clemons, a technician in Kingsport. “They had all the materials, they just needed someone to help get the fence up. People were commenting they would do it for various amounts of money. That’s when I told my wife to reach out to them and tell them not to pay anyone to put the fence up. I was going to see if I could find some help.”
The next day Bryan sent a group text to his Kingsport work family. He explained the situation and asked who would be willing to give up a part of their weekend to help a little boy in need.
He was not surprised at the responses.
“I got several responses saying they were in,” Clemons said. “The only questions they had were, what time do you want to start and what do I need to bring?
“But that’s what I expected from these guys. We’re a pretty tight-knit group. Several of us golf together, we participate in the United Way day of caring events each year, and we’re like brothers. I knew this was something they wouldn’t think twice about helping with.”
Kingsport coworkers Tom Hensley, Dave Webb, Brandon Byington and Robbie Arnold, agreed to help on Saturday. On Sunday, Jesse Sallee joined Arnold and his wife, Lori, and a few guys from Clemons’ Leadership Kingsport group.
The volunteers reached out to Tennessee 811 to have the underground utilities located prior to doing any digging, brought all the necessary tools and supplies and provided all the labor. The family treated workers to lunch and friendly conversations each day.
A few days after Clemons first sent the group text, little Ezra had a fenced-in front yard to safely run and play. Arnold said that this was one of the most gratifying weekends of his life.
“It was just amazing to see how the guys from our Kingsport office came together to help this family out,” he said. “It truly means a lot to know that we have people in this company that genuinely care about others. It was all worth it when we finally got to see that little boy running around smiling.”