Between Chris Adam being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and his wife Charlene suffering a stroke, this Aldergrove family has faced their fair share of hard times, and now they’re in desperate need of help fixing up their home, said pastor Michael Dauncey.
Their house is on the verge of falling into disrepair, and the couple is no longer physically able to do the repairs themselves – nor can they financially afford to hire professionals to do the work for them, Dauncey explained.
Learning of the Adams’ plight and drilling down to better understand their story, the AOK team selected this family – from about a dozen candidates nominated – to receive this year Extreme Home Repair, said Dauncey, head of the Church of the Valley’s Acts of Kindness (AOK) ministry.
The selection was made back in February. And now, the AOK team is preparing to step up to make a difference, he said, noting work begins on the 32A Avenue, split-level, five-bedroom home on May 4.
The AOK team typically takes on one or two Extreme Home Repair projects each spring, spending a maximum of two weeks working tirelessly, bringing together an army of volunteers to help, and soliciting thousands of dollars in donations to retrofit a dilapidated home for a Langley family in need.
The Adams home is AOK’s 20th project in 15 years.
Understanding their needs
While Chris has suffered with MS for several years, he was finally put on long-term disability a year ago.
Further, about a year-and-a-half ago Charlene suffered the stroke.
“She took off five months to recover and is now working part-time, which is all she can manage,” Dauncey explained.
As parents of four kids, three still at home, they have always worked to provide a safe and stable home for their children, he said.
“Being responsible homeowners, before these illnesses hit, they replaced the roof to keep the home dry and upgraded the windows to help with the unmanageable electric heat bills,” Dauncey explained, noting they’ve lived in the home for about 12 years.
They also installed two energy-efficient gas fireplaces, securing grants wherever they could to help.
The fact that the roof and heating are taken care of is “huge,” said Dauncey, explaining how that those are often the most financially significant and physically draining projects associated with an Extreme Home Repair project.
“They have done their part, but now need our help to finish it up,” Dauncey added.
Admittedly, this project is not as extensive a retrofit as some in past.
“It’s not as massive an undertaking,” Dauncey elaborated. “But it definitely will be a huge improvement.”
Lorne Brownmiller is a long-time volunteer and project manager with AOK concurs.
“After speaking to the family, to the couple, we understood some of their needs. We’re going to meet those needs, and exceed their expectations,” he said, not wanting to reveal too many details and ruin the surprise.
“Let’s just say we want to make their home healthy and happy… We do what we can, when we can,” Brownmiller said.
They would divulge that, like most other EHR projects, this one will involve improvements to the inside and outside of the home.
For example, woodworking students at Fraser Valley Adventist Academy are helping AOK get a jumpstart on this project by tackling an outdoor project.
They’re currently trying to secure supplies, but hope to begin work within the next two week, building a new 8X12 outdoor shed for the family, Dauncey said.
The AOK team is currently working to secure further donations of supplies and to find people willing to help out, Brownmiller said, noting it is a church-based project but volunteers from throughout the community are invited and encouraged to participate.
Typically then need about 200 volunteers for various lengths of time and for differing task, some more physically demanding than others, Brownmiller explained.
The project runs from May 4 to the reveal on May 21, and there is always a shortfall of people during the week, Dauncey noted.
While AOK can always use people willing to donate a few hours or a few days of labour to these projects, this one in particular is going to need some qualified painters and landscape workers.
They’re also going to need some donated lumber supplies, or a credit to a lumber yard so they can get all the unexpected incidentals that come up in the midst of a project, Brownmiller explained.
“They’re a pretty typical family that love their kids and they’ve had some extenuating hardships… We can come in, and with everyone’s help, we can make an enormous difference in their lives.”