In his younger days you could find Vernon Freeman of Dallas anywhere in the community lending a hand. A carpenter by trade he was known in the area as someone who would pitch in to help at your house if you needed it. He had built a reputation for fixing whatever problem you had with your house even if you couldn’t afford to pay him for it.
Well in the fall of 2012 it was his turn to need a hand. The 85 year old great-grandfather had an electrical fire in his family home of 50 years. Not having insurance he decided to do whatever he could to work on the house himself. It didn’t take long for his physical energy and finances to wear thin. That’s when people began talking about his situation, even airing on the local news.
As people heard his story a few decided to step up and take action. They began working on Mr. Freeman’s house and others started to join in. He was living with his son temporarily while work was being done. But he spent most of his days sitting on the front porch of his family home, watching the repairs.
As efforts continued the generosity of the town snowballed. The local chapter of Habitat for Humanity donated supplies and an online registry was created for people to see what was needed and how they could help buy supplies. Construction companies donated time and labor while a window company donated all new windows. A local roofing company donated lumber, siding and insulation. All the new floors were donated by a local design & carpet center. Food vendors volunteered to bring their food trucks over to feed the volunteers. Are you getting the picture here? The list goes on!
Once as workers were finishing their day Mr. Freeman asked if they could leave the sheet rock tape at the house. When they arrived the next day they found that he had stayed and by himself had taped the seams in two bedrooms and the kitchen. He was thrilled to have the work get to a point where he could pitch in himself.
As the house neared completion the generosity of the community remained steady. Furniture, paint and appliances were all donated and set in place to welcome Mr. Freeman back home. Target gift cards were even rolling in to help supply him with other essentials.
On July 6th of this year Mr. Freeman walked back in his front door. Project complete! Lovely example of a community giving back to one who gave so freely himself!
This post is part of the Nester’s 31 Day Challenge; Writing on the same topic each day of the month of October. Click on over to the Challenge to find a number of topics and authors ranging from Simplicity & Organizing to Personal Endeavors. You can head back here and scroll to the bottom of this post for a listing of all 31 days of Good News & Good People Doing Good Things.