Know an Aldergrove home in need of help?

Do you know someone who can’t make much-needed house renovations, due to financial and/or physical limitations?

If so, then it’s time to try to make a difference.

Nominations for the 2015 Acts of Kindness (AOK) Extreme Home Repair project, organized by the Aldergrove Seventh-day Adventist Church, are being accepted. 

Nomination forms can be filled out and submitted online at www.aokaldergrove.org.

Nominees must live within the Langley, Aldergrove area limits and the deadline for nominations is Nov. 15.

Volunteers will start renovating the home in early May, 2015, for a Victoria Day (May 18) reveal at 5 p.m.

“Any one can be nominated, and by anyone,” project manager Lorne Brownmiller said. “The person must own the home, or should I say they can own the home with a bank. Situations always vary and in no way reflect the process, as a person in need is a person in need.”

A home will only be selected if it is felt that the owner(s) cannot reasonably complete the needed repairs on their own, due to physical and/or financial limitations.

Brownmiller, who has been part of the project since 2004, added, “They should be a good neighbour, regardless the condition of their home.”

After Nov 15, the nominees are contacted first via a phone visit, which starts the process, and then by a visit to the home.

“As always we are looking forward to making another difference in someone’s, or family’s, life,” Brownmiller said. 

This past May, more than 200 volunteers did a complete renovation of Pat Tapper’s split-level house in Aldergrove. The estimated cost of renovations ranged between $150,000 and $200,000 in value.

Each year brings new challenges, Brownmiller said.

But the payoff comes on the day when the homeowners return to see their renovated house for the first time in a couple of weeks.

And Brownmiller added that it’s always worth the time, effort, and sacrifice.

“There are frustrating moments, there are tense moments, but when you evaluate the impact that you are able to be a part of, the feeling is indescribable,” Brownmiller said. “And one of the things that I really get a kick out of, is being intimate with the whole project.”

Brownmiller loves the pay it forward aspect.

“For whatever reason, I have been blessed with a healthy body… and the people around me are healthy, but there are so many people who don’t have those simple, take-for-granted every day gifts,” Brownmiller said. “Our mandate is not to judge, but rather to make a practical difference in people’s lives, and however they can respond afterwards, and normally it’s very favourable, is how the rest of their story goes.”

The difficult, and at times heart-wrenching part is, narrowing the list of nominations to one. 

“Every year we just want the right family in the mix of nominations,” Brownmiller said. “This is part of the heartbreak in a lot of ways: there is one family that comes to the top. We certainly phone all the nominees and let them know that a family has been chosen and for the most part they’ve been thankful that they were part of the process.”

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