When John and his wife Linda take a look at their house now, they are amazed by the many improvements they see thanks to the repairs done by Twin Cities Habitat's A Brush With Kindness (ABWK) program.
John and Linda love their neighborhood in Brooklyn Center; they appreciate that it is a really safe and quiet place to live and a great second home for their grandchildren. He recalls that special moment when he and his wife finally found the place they would call home.
"Finding this place is a special memory we won't forget. We spent many years searching for this home. Finally, we found it, things fell into place, and we bought it.
Gradually, the repairs in the home became overwhelming and, with John's disability, John and Linda knew they could use a helping hand. After finding out about the ABWK program through a friend, John followed up right away for an opportunity to have a fresh start at home.
The home improvement repairs included both interior and exterior work: Installing grab bars in tub and shower, making repairs to bedroom ceiling, re-roofing house and garage, and other exterior repairs.
John says in spite of the bad weather that caused a few delays in the housework, the volunteers always showed up eager and ready to work. He enjoyed chatting and sharing a smile with the volunteers and the site supervisor before their day got started.
Although the home improvements are much appreciated, what John values most are the kind volunteers he's encountered and the friendships he's acquired. He calls them his special gift.
"It's been marvelous. All the people are real happy about what they are doing. It's also really been a treat to watch and get to know everyone."
Now, John and Linda stare at all the repairs in amazement. They no longer have to stress about the projects that need to be done both inside and outside of the house. The only downside: John and Linda had to say goodbye to the volunteers.
John jokes, "I kind of wish they were doing it over just so I could see them again."