Dane is a quiet and gentle man. But, his mild demeanor hides the scars and pain of his troubled life. After nine years of marriage, his wife left him, broken and broke. With three kids to raise and a minimum wage job as his only income, he has struggled. Despite the odds, the children are warm and happy souls. Many residents in this quiet Tennessee community think they are amazing, given the sparse existence they have been living.
The house was in shambles when Americans Helping Americans® and Appalachian Outreach volunteers first arrived. It was small, lacked a functioning bathroom, and was in need of a myriad of repairs. The most pressing need was for space. The house had only two bedrooms for one parent and three growing boys and girls. An army of 19 volunteers were assigned the enormous task of fixing up the home.
With supplies funded through Americans Helping Americans® supporters, the volunteers put on a new roof, changed the siding, completely remodeled the bathroom, remodeled the boy’s room, made major repairs to the kitchen, installed a new front door, rebuilt the front porch and stairs and added a deck to the rear of the house. Most of the work was accomplished in four days with four days of follow up.
At the end of the week, Shandora, the middle child in the family who is just 10 years old asked one of the volunteers to wait just a minute. “I’ve got to get something, just let me go look,” she said. While waiting, the staff member could hear her scurrying about the house in obvious pursuit of some unfound object. She reappeared with a small pack of cookies in her hand, and proclaimed, “I looked all over the house for some money to give you, but I couldn’t find any. But I found these. I just want to say thanks.”
With each nail driven, every stroke of paintbrush, and detailed attended to, no matter how great or small, the faces of the children grew brighter. Dane cried daily as he felt so wonderfully blessed by these caring volunteers. When volunteers returned the following week to check on things, they found a clutter-free environment that reflected the newly acquired hope for the future.
Thanks to the partnership of Americans Helping Americans® supporters and organizations like Appalachian Outreach, over 400 homes were rehabilitated this past year. Please join us in helping more families like Danes by donating today!