John and Marlene deserved a little extra kindness in their lives - and that's exactly what A Brush with Kindness (ABWK) (ABWK) provides. John is disabled and a Navy Veteran. Marlene is a Veteran of the Army. Together, they raised six kids in a small home in the city of Lexington, in Anoka County. Today three of the kids are grown and have moved out, but their youngest daughter has Down syndrome and needs a lot of extra care. Several years ago, John lost his steady job of 25 years when his company relocated. The family has been living paycheck to paycheck ever since. Home repairs just haven’t been in the budget.
John and Marlene’s oldest daughter, Hannah, knew her parents needed help. She wrote a letter to Twin Cities Habitat’s paint and repair program, A Brush with Kindness, to explain the challenges. She said her mom is always baking treats for other families, even though her kitchen is falling apart. She wrote that her mom is the strongest woman she knows and getting help with repairs would mean a big boost in morale for the family.
Fortunately, ABWK staff and volunteers were able to make several critical repairs to the home and redo the kitchen. Check out the before, during, more during, and after photos below.
A Brush with Kindness provides that little boost that can help a family regain hope and optimism. A painting project done by Habitat volunteers can turn "the ugly home" on the street into an asset for the neighborhood. It can inspire others to improve their homes and help stabilize an entire block. Sometimes the work helps an aging homeowner stay in their home safely (this can save a family a small fortune versus relocating to a senior home or an assisted living community).
The project done for John and Marlene was funded by a grant from The Home Depot Foundation which has partnered with Twin Cities Habitat because of our Yellow Ribbon status as an organization dedicated to serving Veterans and their families.
All of the work done by A Brush with Kindness requires investment from financial donors and corporate partners. Many projects cost about $5,000 to do right. If you're interested in finding out how to make a significant impact for a low-income homeowner struggling to keep the home they love please contact us to learn more about partnerships.