Chicago High School teacher among volunteers at Steps2Hope home - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chicago High School teacher among volunteers at Steps2Hope home build

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The Steps2Hope home build reached its halfway mark on Monday and the exterior of the home is nearly complete. Workers focused on finishing the roof and working on the exterior siding and stone walls. 

We have volunteers from all over the country here helping this build, one person I met Monday is a high school English teacher in Chicago. He can tell you how Jason Smith's story has touched so many people who want to say thank you.

"On Veteran's Day we showed a video of Jason, we got some footage of a fundraiser in Chattanooga," said Jimmy Mics of Chicago, Illinois, "Jason gave a shout out to the Huskie's, Go Huskies, the next thing we know the kids started working."

Jimmy Mics is an English teacher at John Hersey High School in Chicago. He heard about the fundraising efforts to build Jason Smith a new home through some friends down south.

Mics knew the students at his high school would do anything they could think of to help support the wounded veteran. 

"Baseball, the choir, football, girls track, speech, debate, theatre, everybody came together," Mics said.

Students created a "Homes for Heroes Challenge" to raise money for Smith and after the six week fundraiser, Smith flew to Chicago to visit the school and meet the students.

"Which was wonderful, he spent the day with students, told his story. He's a hero, the kids still talk about him," Mics said, "They love him, they talk about Sgt. Smith all the time."

Now almost four months later Mics traveled to Ringgold to see the home build for himself, and to once again say thank you to Sgt. Smith.

"He thanks us, but we thank him," Mics said, "It was the best day of my 22-year teaching career."

At the end of the fundraiser students handed Jason Smith a check for $23,000. That money is now paying for building supplies for Jason's new home.

"And that's what we did for Jason, the kids came through with $23,000," Mics said, "I just took some footage of the handicap-accessible bathroom and said you guys are a part of this."

Jason and Lauren are now not allowed to look at any more of the progress inside the home, so when they get the keys on Saturday, it will be a surprise.

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