Through Home Makeovers, Help Women and Children Now also helps families in need.
In the spring of 2008 a well-loved young father passed away after a long battle with cancer. With three very young children, his wife had no time or funds to consider finishing the things he had so longed to complete in their small Maple Shade, NJ home. One of the board members of Help Women and Children Now happened to be bringing a meal to the family and in seeing the home in such need of repair, initiated a major cleaning and organization of their home so they can reconnect and regroup while they grieved. With donations from some generous friends, a small group set out on a Sunday to clean and make the house feel like a "home".
What happened that day changed the lives of many forever. In one long day, not only was the house cleaned and organized from top to bottom, but the home was given a "extreme mini-makeover". The front sun room was turned into a living space/temporary bedroom for extended family members who were staying in the home to help out with the children. Flooring was laid, and the room was newly furnished. After seeing the look of gratitude on the faces of the family, we knew we had to do this again for another family. And within a year in the summer of 2009, our non-profit was ready to complete another makeover when a family in need was brought to our attention. Their little girl was suffering from stomach cancer and needed a dedicated area in the home to change her dressings. The entire home also was in need of many repairs and painting, and the family wished to have a deck built off their above ground pool for a place for the little girl to sit since she could not get wet. We had our work cut out for us, and needed a larger team of helpers and more funds.
We raised money locally through yard sales and family events, and asked local businesses to donate window treatments. A team of 30 went to work for 15 straight hours, laying new flooring throughout the house, painting the entire home, creating a private medical station for the little girl to have her feeding tubes changes, building a deck and refurnishing most of the home. It was truly an extreme home makeover, but the look on the family's faces when they came home was truly priceless.
Since that time our organization has completed two additional home make-overs. One for a young family where the husband had been diagnosed with lung cancer. He had been in the process of finishing their basement as a place to play for their 8 and 10 year old daughters. Now the basement needed finishing more than ever. The girls would need a place to go to retreat from cancer, and just be with friends in their own special place. Help Women and Children Now was able to send the family on a four-day trip to Disney World, in which time the entire basement was finished. From drywall to a drop ceiling to a completely decked out pre-teen hangout equipped with a dance floor and karaoke machine, and a full organization of the entire home, the family was able to return from their trip ready to take on the challenges of fighting cancer while having the space and organization to do so. Our most recent makeover involved a complete restoration of an the home of a grandmother who had recently adopted her four pre-teen grandchildren. The house required major cleaning and renovations to ensure a safe and accessible home for the new family.
Makeovers are a big investment of time and money, but can provide a life-changing experience for both the recipeints and the participants. Like to help? Click here to donate and/or volunteer.