The history a homeowner has with family, friends and neighbors is the foundation of understanding and communicating the partnership we have through A Brush with Kindness. Each family story creates an important partnership that allows those involved with A Brush with Kindness to experience a snapshot of what life is like for our homeowners.
Theadora and her family are one such example of how families involved in A Brush with Kindness are impacted.
Theadora was in eighth grade when her mom bought the house. She was number seven of 10 children. She has great memories growing up in that house. When her mother passed, she was able to make a down payment on the house and purchase it.
Their family values have been hard work, hard play and tradition. Holidays were always special for Theadora and she has carried the traditions on to her children and grandchildren that she raised in the home. Theadora’s mother used to be very involved in the community. Theadora also cares for her neighbors by bringing food to an elderly couple and shoveling their sidewalk.
However, as she has gotten older, it has become very difficult to stay on top of home maintenance. Theadora has faced several city citations and she feared more. She said the house looked so bad she stopped parking in the front.
Habitat’s A Brush with Kindness program, along with many volunteers, repaired and painted Theodora’s home as well as fixed her garage. Theadora said, “The most important thing for me is to be here so I can learn.” Her family is developing new skills as they are helping out, especially her little brother who has been working alongside the volunteers every day. “These are the most wonderful people. You get attached and then they are gone. These people do not have to do this. They are fabulous,” she said. “I would use the word phenomenal.”
She said that after receiving help from ABWK “the weight that has come off my shoulders is amazing. I was taught to give back and you reap what you sow! I could just bust.”
She continued: “It is so great for my children to see this. I can’t wait to get in that front yard and plant flowers. I can enjoy my porch again. I can sit on the steps. When people go above and beyond, it makes you want to do more. It is like a home again. I can’t wait to decorate for Christmas.”
Whether it’s sharing the struggles of a senior trying to remain in their home, or a single parent juggling bills, work and parenting responsibilities to maintain a safe home for her kids, or a disabled veteran coming to grips with the physical and mental challenges of transitioning back to civilian life, these are the stories that intersect the lives of staff, volunteers, sponsors and partners and create the energy and inspiration for our community to walk alongside and help their neighbors.