Jerry Major, center, offers advice Wednesday morning to Dennis Ames, left, as Chester Curtis saws a piece of wood for a ramp at The Chapman House on Greenwood Mountain Road in Hebron. The site is the home of Life House Maine that serves single, pregnant women The Norway men are part of the Oxford Hills Mission Men who meet every week for breakfast and discuss projects they can do for those who need help. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

HEBRON — When Jerry Major and two friends from the First Congregational Church of South Paris started meeting for breakfast nearly 17 years ago, they talked a lot about what was happening in town.

Some of the stories pulled at their heartstrings, such as fellow church members who needed small projects done they couldn’t do or afford. With their strong backgrounds in faith and love, they started responding to help.

Since 2007, when the “breakfast group” first started meeting, the number of people helping and projects have grown.

They call themselves the Oxford Hills Mission Men.

On Friday, a dozen people showed up for their weekly breakfast at The Square restaurant in downtown South Paris where they meet. There are now men from six area churches in the group.

Jerry Major, left, Chester Curtis, center, and Dennis Ames, all of Norway, work out the logistics of a railing they are installing on a ramp at The Chapman House in Hebron. They are members of the Oxford Hills Mission Men, who meet every week for breakfast and decide on projects to help the community. The Chapman House is home to Life House Maine, which serves single, pregnant women. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Most of them have been working the past few days building a deck and ramp at The Chapman House on Greenwood Mountain Road in Hebron. The former inn has become the home for Life House Maine, a place where pregnant women can stay and find help with parenting, finance, finding employment and securing long-term housing.

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Life House Maine President Paul Balsamo praised the group that heard about their needs.

“It just takes one person to identify a problem, and in a community like this, someone is always willing to lend a hand,” he said.

Jerry Major of Norway, the self-proclaimed “coordinator,” said, “I generally organize everything these days as I can’t work much after a recent hip surgery and seven back operations.”

Jerry Major, right, watches Joel Pulkkinen dig a post hole Wednesday for a ramp at The Chapman House in Hebron. The two Norway residents are a part of Oxford Hills Mission Men, who meet every week for breakfast and have a mission to help those in the community. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

While most of the projects are small, this one is one of the more ambitious ones for the group.

“We raise money with suppers, donations and fundraisers to help fund most of our projects, but for this one, the home bought all the materials and we are supplying the labor,” Major said. “There are always people in need and there are those of us who can help.”

Jerry Major, right, watches Joel Pulkkinen of Norway dig a posthole Wednesday for a ramp at The Chapman House in Hebron. The Norway residents are part of Oxford Hills Mission Men, who meet every week for breakfast and have a mission to help those in the community. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

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