Sarah Scarrow and her children are “over the moon” with excitement over being selected as this year’s recipient of the Extreme Home Repair (EHR).
Sarah is a single, working mother but despite the challenges of trying to update and repair their old full-size “B.C. Box” house on their own she says she, “still thought there are more needy people out there. I’m against complaining and there are people who have no home, but now all of a sudden we’re going to have a nice house.”
This will be the 13th year for the Extreme Home Repair, a non-profit outreach program performed by the Aldergrove Adventist Church’s “Acts of Kindness” team (AOK).
Established in 2004, the Extreme Home Repair project annually transforms the home of a local individual or family facing difficult circumstances related to their housing and resources.
The project brings together over 200 volunteers, dozens of community-minded businesses, friends, family, and neighbours, to give the selected recipients a fresh start in a safe and comfortable environment.
Pastor Mike Dauncey leads the EHR team and personally visits all the nominees to help select the recipients each year.
“We tour their homes, hear their stories and discuss what needs to be done, sometimes more than once and Sarah is a single mom who needs help, she doesn’t have the means to do all that’s needed because she works full-time,” said Dauncey.
“All three of her kids are adopted and she has a huge heart to do this, putting others first before herself. She thinks of others more than herself.”
Sarah’s family was interviewed three times before Dauncey knocked on their door a couple weeks ago to give them the good news.
“I answered the door and said, ‘Mom, you better get down here’ because he’s carrying flowers,” said Levi, the youngest son.
Sarah’s daughter, Teara, smiled in agreement, adding that, “I knew we were selected when he came back a third time.”
The urgent work on the Scarrow home includes new windows, drywall, insulation, electrical updating and finishing the basement, but there are many extras thrown in by the EHR team of volunteers and donors.
New flooring, furnishings, cabinets and appliances are also part of the plan.
Removal of old clutter has already begun, with the unwanted contents of the garage and backyard piled into a disposal bin last week.
“They also said I should decide what furniture to toss and I said I’d have to look at my budget for replacement,” said Sarah.
“They said ‘You don’t get it, do you?’ They are going to replace all the old furniture (unless there was anything she wanted to keep for its sentimental value).”
Aldergrove Mini Storage is donating a locker for the family’s prized possessions while the work is done.
The AOK team is also funding the family’s stay in a local hotel while the transformation takes place, as well as a kennel for their two cats for the two weeks.
“It’s going to be somewhere local so I can drive to work at the warehouse,” noted Nikko, the oldest son.
“Yes,” agreed Sarah. “I have to get to Abbotsford for my job for one of the weeks, but I do get one week off work. But we’ve agreed not to even be on our street for those 16 days while they work on our house.”
The “big reveal” takes place on Victoria Day, Monday, May 23, and usually upwards of 200 people people attend to cheer the family’s arrival and tour the house with the family.
Dauncey says the EHR teams are in place with experienced leaders ready to do their jobs, and the recruitment of volunteer workers is beginning.
“Many of our volunteers are taking their vacation time to do this, and donors of materials are ready to go too,” said Dauncey. “We’re never worried about it.”
Many of the volunteers include past recipients of the EHR program on their own homes — and Sarah says she plans to do so herself in future years.
“One of the women who volunteered said she was inspired by the look on the face of the family who had their home made over,” said Sarah.
If you would like to help with this year’s project, phone Pastor Dauncey at 778-549-3896 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The website is https://www.facebook.com/AOKExtremeHomeRepair