The Dunn's cats are being boarded at a kennel, the three-member family relocated into a friend's basement suite, and most of their belongings put in storage to make room in their Aldergrove home for 250-plus volunteers who are going to begin ripping it apart Friday morning.
Cathy Dunn, along with her 14-year-old son Ian and eight-year-old son Jamie, have spent the past few months decluttering their dilapidated Aldergrove home and packing up all their worldly possessions in anticipation of this week's move.
She's called the experience as "very therapeutic."
The single-mother was selected at Christmas to be the 2013 recipient of the Extreme Home Repair, an acts of kindness project spearheaded by members of the Aldergrove Seventh Day Adventist.
Celebrating it's 10th annual repair project, organizer Pastor Michael Dauncey said they're hosting a Swing the Sledge event Friday, with a mayor, fire chief, plitical dignitary, and members of the public wanting to attend.
The home repair project is a non-profit community service program started in 2004 by the church, when a team of passionate members wanted to help others and enhance the lives by providing home repairs for families in the Township of Langley who are in extreme need, Dauncey said, drawing a parallel to the reality TV show Extreme Home Makeover.
"Our goal is to accomplish at least one extreme makeover project each year, valued at $150,000 to $250,000."
This year's program kicks off May 3 and will take 15 days of work, to transform the Dunn home, which the family has occupied for the past 16 years.
"During the last nine years, we have partnered with more than 125 local businesses and hundreds of volunteers to renovate, restore, and improve the homes of 10 recipient families who were desperately in need of a home repair," Dauncey explained.
Sometimes the recipient families have suffered unimaginable loss in the death of a child or loved one, and in many cases, children who have been chronically ill with asthma related to mold-infested homes, have seen a tremendous improvement in their quality of life.
"Whatever the case, the home renovation helps to restore homes as well as the mental, emotional, and physical health of families in our community," Dauncey said.
Mold was a definite one of the issues in Dunn's 30-year-old, three-bedroom rancher that has suffered significant water damage and is in need of a new roof, among other repairs.
Prior to being selected for the project, Dunn said she was facing the very real fear that she'd have to sell her home, because repairs costs were too crippling.
"You run around putting Band-Aids on things and then you realize the Band-Aids aren't holding any more," she said.
Dunn feared she'd have to pack up her family, and move out of the only neighbourhood her children have ever know.
"I'm not a person who asks for help easily," she admitted. But she's let go of all those worries now, handing over control to the AOK team.
"I don't care. Do whatever you want. Whatever you can do, I'm grateful," she added. "However it works out, we'll be happy, and forever appreciative."
Dauncey is inviting the public to attend the kickoff at 9 a.m. on Friday at 26579 30A Ave.
"We are planning our biggest block party ever to celebrate what has happened over the last 10 years," he said.
AOK organizers still need help acquiring supplies for the 15-day home makeover:
- Cedar fence panels (28)
- Home Depot/Rona gift cards
- Laminator (for Cathy's work)
- cash for needed furniture
- Big screen TV
- Gift certificates for restaurants or things to do in Vancouver (for the family's weekend getaway)
Donors able to assist are asked to call 778-549-3896.
@ Copyright 2013