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Alabama man weeks away from new home built by loving volunteers

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 6:24 PM CDT
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ALEX CITY, Ala. (WSFA) - There’s love in action in Alex City these days. Scores of volunteers are putting aside their real jobs and personal time to work on something special for a man who apparently means the world to so many.

Johnny Nolen is on the verge of receiving the gift of a lifetime, a new three bedroom home. And it’s coming at the hands of volunteers like Carlisle Guy.

“I appreciate what everybody’s done,” Nolen, who has had his share of difficulties in life, said.

40 volunteers have come together to build a three-bedroom home for Johnny Nolen and his mom.
40 volunteers have come together to build a three-bedroom home for Johnny Nolen and his mom.(Source: WSFA 12 News)

“I mean 20 years from now this will definitely be something that I’ll tell my kids about,” said volunteer contractor Carlisle Guy.

The idea originated with Sonny Wilson three years ago and not long after he hammered it home from an idea to a reality.

“I got to thinking all he does for the people around the community, maybe it’s time for us to step and do something for him,” said Wilson, who is the Alex City Parks & Recs director.

The man himself is humbled by it all, and he’s very grateful.

“I tell everybody I appreciate what everybody’s done,” Nolen said.

To understand why Alex City is doing this for Johnny Nolen, you have to understand the man; a true friend, a mentor, a beloved member of the community with a pure heart.

Johnny Nolen's new home is worth about $150,000 and is completely funded by volunteers.
Johnny Nolen's new home is worth about $150,000 and is completely funded by volunteers. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Here in these parts, Nolen is thoroughly connected to youth sports from Benjamin Russell High School to the Sportsplex, which by the way will be a football’s throw from his new home.

“If everybody in the world had a heart like Johnny, what a place this would be,” said Wilson.

There will be no mortgage payments. No land taxes will be due, and no home related bills to speak of.

“And we’re setting up a trust fund for him,” said Wilson.

Just mention the name Johnny Nolen and you’ll hear words such as ‘legend’ or ‘icon.’

“As I grew up and went to high school, he was always involved with the baseball team,” Guy remembered.

Wilson and his team hope to hand over the keys to Nolen before Christmas, a special gift, one that love built from the ground up.

Wilson and Guy estimate the home is worth around $150,000 based on today’s real estate market, and they tell us every bit of material is being donated, including funds to create Nolen’s trust account.

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