Single mom Sarah Scarrow can’t do anything more than what she’s already doing to support her family of three adopted children.
But help is on the way.
This May, the team from the Aldergrove Adventist Church’s Extreme Home Repair (EHR) project will set up shop at Sarah’s Aldergrove home, giving her lots and lots of helping hands.
EHR is part of the church’s Acts of Kindness program.
Each May leading up to the Victoria Day (May 23) reveal, EHR recipients move out of their home to allow the team of roughly 200 volunteers – including tradespeople – to do their renovation work.
Dozens of local businesses also lend their support and supplies to the program.
Recipients are homeowners who aren’t able to fix up their own homes due to financial or health reasons, noted Aldergrove Adventist Church pastor Mike Dauncey, adding that Sarah and her family including children ages 18, 17, and 10 definitely deserve the support.
“We went over and visited Sarah, and after we looked at her house, we came back to the church and spent some time talking about her story and what we saw,” Dauncey shared. “We saw there was a definite need for this house.”
Dauncey said, “what really turned our heart towards Sarah was the fact that she adopted three children and has really given herself to raise these children who needed a home.”
Longtime EHR volunteer Lorne Brownmiller said it best, Dauncey related. “He said, ‘People who adopt children are in a class of their own.’ In other words, you really are giving a part of your life for these children.”
Sarah works full time and what she makes goes into the mortgage, so she simply doesn’t have anything extra left over for house repairs, Dauncey related.
And there are scads of repairs needed for the family’s split level home that is more than 40 years old.
Sarah told the Langley Advance the front window came unsealed and the window track has disintegrated, the kitchen cupboards are in “real rough shape,” there are areas where drywall needs repair, and there is no ceiling downstairs.
“The list goes on and on,” Sarah said.
As a single mom, finances can be a challenge, Sarah said.
She explained that there is “an exhaustion” that sets in from working and trying to take care of her house and family.
“My youngest is full of energy and always wants to be active,” she said, but was quick to point out, “my kids are the best, amazing children. I am blessed.”
Sarah thanked her two good friends, Tara and Donna, for nominating her.
“They both have been in my house and know my heart was for a fixed up home, and that I didn’t know how to go about repairing it [the house] or paying for repairs,” Sarah said.
Sarah was shocked when she found out that she and her family were chosen as the 2016 EHR recipients.
“[I was a] little overwhelmed with excitement and immediately praised God,” Sarah said.
“We will feel more comfortable having company over now. We have always been very thankful to the Lord that we have a home but now it will be fixed up. Financially it will help a great deal and get us on the right track.”
Sarah admits not knowing much about the program but her kids had mentioned it to her in the past.
Next year, Sarah said she and her kids would love to volunteer with EHR.
“We believe in paying it forward,” she said.
With a recipient selected, the work begins in recruiting volunteers and businesses to help out.
On Feb. 26, students from Fraser Valley Adventist Academy visited the home to help throw out unwanted items.
Volunteers or businesses who would like to lend their skills and services from May 8 to 23 can call Dauncey at 778-549-3896 or email email@example.com.
The EHR team will determine the scope of the work that needs to be done on March 6, with help from Site Lines Architecture, based out of Fort Langley, to draw up plans.
As for Sarah and her family, they know the next few months will be busy, but potentially life-changing.
“Yes, it will be tons of work purging all our stuff and packing up the whole house,” Sarah said. “I keep reminding myself and my kids that the outcome will be more than worth the two months of work we have tackling the garage.”
Sarah said she’s blessed to have met Dauncey and the EHR volunteers.
“The whole team are a supportive, gentle, and genuine bunch. I never wanted to be negatively judged for not being able to repair my home and they came in and with Christ’s love, want to do this for me and my children,” Sarah said.
“They are really believe in coming alongside and uplifting people.”
Dauncey said a single mom trying to make it work in a one-income household is a perfect choice.
“Her house is in need,” Dauncey added. “She’s trying her best and we’re coming to help her out, to give her a better chance – to assist her in having a good home to raise these children in.”
Visit www.facebook.com/langleyadvance to see updates as the project approaches.