An emotional Sarah Scarrow didn’t mask her emotion, or gratitude, as she and her family stood before a gathering of well-wishers in front of her Aldergrove home on Victoria Day Monday.
The 47-year-old single mom of three adopted children – Nikko, 18, Teara, 17, and Levi, 11 – gasped as a school bus moved from the front of her driveway, revealing her renovated home.
Scarrow and her children were the very appreciative recipients of this year’s Extreme Home Repair (EHR), an annual project coordinated by the team from Church in the Valley, a Seventh-day Adventist Church.
EHR is part of the church’s longstanding Acts of Kindness (AOK).
It’s been two weeks since Scarrow and her kids have seen their home. They moved out May 8 to allow the EHR volunteers to start their work and just after 5 p.m. on May 23, were awed with what they saw as they toured their newly renovated home.
It took about 15 working days to complete the upgrade that was done by about 100 volunteers from the church and 100 from the local community.
Scarrow is a deserving beneficiary. She works full time, with most of her paycheque going toward the mortgage.
This leaves hardly anything for property repair and upkeep.
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The EHR team transformed a 40-year-old split level home that was in need of numerous repairs.
Church in the Valley pastor Mike Dauncey welcomed the family home and lauded the volunteers for their efforts.
“These volunteers,” he said, “some of them have taken two weeks off of work to be here, every day,” Dauncey said. “It’s absolutely incredible what these volunteers do. A couple nights, [they were] up till 3:30 in the morning.”
He said there were 85 construction sponsors this year, with some of the major contributors including Aquiform Distributors Ltd., Langley Decorating Centre – Benjamin Moore, Centra Windows, Nufloors – Langley/Pontek Corporation, Burton Architectural Mouldings, Dryco, Genesis Restorations, Power Pros Electrical, All-in-Order Suites, and Steve’s Custom Home Lighting.
The EHR team saw the need for repairs and quickly realized Scarrow didn’t have the resources or the time to fix the house, Dauncey said.
“This is why we chose Sarah,” Dauncey said. “She is a hard worker, and she’s doing her very best to raise these children.”
Dauncey turned to a tearful Scarrow, who put a hand over her eyes in emotion, and said, “we feel you are deserving of this project. We so appreciate doing this from the bottom of our hearts. It’s such an awesome experience.”
Scarrow took the mic and said, “I’ve never felt so much, that thank you seems so inadequate. It doesn’t seem to be enough; there isn’t really words to describe. There’s so much that you guys have done. There’s nothing more to say except we’re overwhelmed. Thank you.”
EHR team member David Russell explained that the work done to the house was extensive.
“Basically the entire electrical system was redone, top to bottom, which was a bit of a surprise, we weren’t expecting to do that,” Russell said.
Drywall was taken out in order for the house to be restructured, he elaborated.
“We’ve moved rooms, we put in a brand-new legal suite so she can use it to rent for income, plus we put in a new back entrance going downstairs to a new bonus room that they were not really using, it was more for storage, and we just secured a donation for the pool, a new liner, pumps, everything,” Russell added.
As well, new flooring and windows were installed, a new driveway was put in, the home was painted “top to bottom,” Russell said, and brand new fixtures including a new stove and fridge were put into place.
Russell said the sacrifice was well worth it.
“For me, it’s how we lift up a family and help them hit the ground running,” Russell said. “This is where it touches my heart is when I can help a family get up off the ground. Then they can run, then they can sail, in life, and not have to start from a deep hole. There was so much work that needed to be done to this house, there’s no way she could have done it on her own, no way.”
– Files from the Vancouver Sun