Teresa Sperger (in black at left) and her son Kyle and friends were overtaken by emotion as their newly renovated Aldergrove home was unveiled by the AOK Extreme Home Repair Team in 2012. The EHR team is looking for nominees for this year’s project. Black Press file photo

Extreme Home Repair team accepting nominations for 2018 recipient

Each year, local volunteers and businesses combine to renovate home of needy family

Somewhere in Langley or Aldergrove is a family who needs their house, and their lives, transformed.

Now, it’s up to the public to put those people’s names forward, so the work can begin.

The Extreme Home Repair (EHR) team is looking for nominees for this year’s EHR recipient.

EHR is an program launched 15 years ago by Acts of Kindness (AOK), a community outreach of Langley’s Church in the Valley: a Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Established in 2004, the EHR project annually transforms the home of a local individual or family facing difficult circumstances related to their housing and resources.

The project brings together more than 200 volunteers — many of whom are from Church in the Valley — along with dozens of community-minded businesses, friends, family and neighbours, to give the selected recipients a fresh start in a comfortable environment.

AOK along with the EHR team are currently searching for nominations for EHR recipients in the Langleys.

Some of the criteria for nomination to be a EHR recipient include: they must own the home and be in need of assistance as a result of a financial setback caused by divorce, sickness, accident, family death, or another similar situation.

If you know someone who could be a 2018 recipient, or if you would like to get involved in this year’s project, contact Church in the Valley at 604-514-8335 or go to the AOK website www.actsofkindness.ca.

Reveal Emotional for Sister

Last year’s recipient were Victoria Newstead and her brother Jim, whose home at Brookswood Estates mobile home park was renovated by EHR volunteers.

Extreme Home Repair 2017 Progress… from Acts of Kindness {AOK} on Vimeo.

The mobile home, that the family has called home for more than 50 years, was badly in need of repair.

During the reveal last May, Victoria was emotional as she walked into the bright and airy new living room; she was elated with the revamped kitchen that no longer had a furnace in the middle of the room; and she was overwhelmed by the completely refurbished bathroom that replaced the previous facilities that were hazardous with mould.

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Pastor Inspired

More than 15 years ago, Church in the Valley Pastor David Jamieson and an associate were inspired to do something life changing for families in need in the Langleys.

The night before, they had watched the TV show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, where a family in need receives a total home renovation.

As they spoke, their excitement increased, and said at the same time, “We can do this!”

So they recruited business owners and volunteers who wanted to make a difference from the Aldergrove Adventist Church and the local community.

A decade-and-a-half later, EHR has completed 17 projects in Langley.

Lorne Brownmiller currently runs the EHR program and is a long-time volunteer with AOK.

Brownmiller also owns one of the businesses that has donated to the projects through the years.

He says has been personally affected by the difference EHR has on the families helped: “I’ve been involved in Extreme Home Repair since the beginning. I really have to say we could not have foreseen what the humble beginnings in 2004 would grow into now.

“When I see the difference it has made in the community and the different families’ lives, this is what drives us each year. And I know, without a doubt, God will continue to bless this program well into the future.”

EHR Recipients Grateful

One EHR recipient was a single mom who had been facing life’s challenges alone for eight years.

She purchased a home with the intention to do repairs, but realized they were more than she could handle.

She faced the likelihood of having to sell her home and knew this would have an emotional impact on her family because she desperately wanted to provide stability for her sons. She was selected as a EHR recipient and after she saw the results, shared her surprise.

“It’s not the house I left them at all,” she said. “I’d been hoping for a roof and I’ve got so much more.”

The recipient shared her gratitude during the 10-year anniversary of EHR: “I am so incredibly grateful; you are giving me a boost when I need it. I can’t think of how to thank you and even put it into words, anything I say just doesn’t seem to express it enough, the deep heartfelt gratitude and how thankful I am for all of you.”

Another EHR recipient shared the impact EHR had on him and his family.

“Essentially our lives were going down the tubes before they (AOK) came. I don’t think we could have come out of it without them,” he said. “The church brought us together, gave us a new beginning. One random act of kindness can and will change the world.

“Love, it all boils down to that simple word. And it all came from Acts of Kindness.”

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