During Event day 2014, Rebuilding Together received a check of $10,000 from Wells Fargo Bank and we all remember the publicity we received with this fun ceremony. Nice pictures were taken and KFOX spent during several occasions time on our program. Most of all the volunteers of Wells Fargo did a great job in cleaning up the yard, where the homeowner had collected over the years a container full of items. While a number of strong guys were cleaning up the yard, other careful hands were painting the walls. The whole team had tremendous fun and the homeowner and his wife had also the day of their life, expressed by her daughter in her letter to us about the impact that Event Day had on her parents, owners of a home that was repaired, by saying, “We are beyond lucky. This is actually not an end to the process, but I think (I hope) this day will be a new beginning for my mom and dad.”
In the mean time we have been dedicating the Wells Fargo money to two homeowners and hearing their stories will give us a good feeling that the money is well spent.
Epifania A. of Jackson Ave is one of the beneficiaries. Amy, our social media specialist visited Epifania at her home and here is her story.
At first glance it doesn’t look like much, but Epifania Aranda, 71, takes great pride in her home. She beamed when describing how she was a renter all her life until buying her home over twenty years ago. Empty flower pots hang by the front door, and the fruit trees she dreamed would keep her husband occupied in the yard never took root, but these little touches give way to the fact that Epifania is doing the best that she can.
The majority of her time is accounted for by taking care of her husband. He has been on dialysis for nine years and currently attends three four-hour sessions each week. Epifania isn’t in the best health herself, suffering from arthritis, hypertension, and back pain after nearly thirty years of working in food services at a local school, a job she loved but retired from in December.
She shares the home with her husband (80), her daughter (41), and two grandchildren (9 and 7). The bathroom that the five of them share needs repair. The tiles on the bottom of the shower are broken, and Epifania suspects that there are problems with the pipes as well. When anyone takes a shower, water leaks all over the floor of the tiny space. They currently use towels to soak up the water, and then pile them in the only sink. The floors are starting to rot as a result. Because her husband uses a walker, grab bars would also be a welcome addition to the bathroom.
When asked what else needs to be done, Epifania shrugs or tosses up her hands. She said that she didn’t want to ask for too much and that the shower was really all that she needed. We did see a broken kitchen floor and a few broken windows around the home and reluctantly she agreed that those could be fixed as well.
Listening to a story like this makes you get tears in your eyes. Well, Rebuilding Together did step in. Our Home Review Chair, Raul Trajeda made a Scope of Work for the project and Bob McCrae, our Contractor Liaison sent one of our best contractors to the home of Epifania. Spending some $4400 made things so much better for Epifania and her family. We did not only helped one homeowner but a family of five. We thank Wells Fargo for making this possible
The story of Gloria C. of Ben Swain is even more heartbreaking.
Gloria is 81 years old, she has dementia and her son of 38 has Down Syndrome. Knowing this you get concerned that they might not have the support to live a normal life, certainly staying in a older home, where things get worn out. Matters get worse when you know that at night they are partly living in the dark, because their electricity system has been overcharged. Besides that, their plumbing is a mess. Fortunately Gloria has two daughters who can take turns helping out. But they have their own burden, since one of them is fighting cancer. Some people get the brunt of misery in this world and we feel humbled that we can offer some help, to get them light at night and have their water flowing again.
Rebuilding Together and its contractors were able to step in to help Gloria and her son by having the Wells Fargo funds available. Fortunately the plumbing problems have been addressed.