WITH VIDEO: AOK helpers hard at work in Aldergrove

It’s Sunday, May 4, day three of the metamorphosis of Pat Tapper’s home in Aldergrove, and thick raindrops oozed down the outside windows.

In and outside the house, more than 30 volunteers busily lent a variety of handyman skills in a group effort that will help change the life of the single grandmother and her grandson, Chase.

Volunteers are recruited, and the project is being made possible through the Act of Kindness (AOK) Extreme Home Repair project, which annually transforms the home of a local person or family facing difficult circumstances related to their housing and resources.

This year’s gracious recipient is Pat, who through the years has struggled with a number of health issues and limited funds, which has hampered her ability to maintain her house.

Despite this, she has managed to raise Chase since he was an infant. Pat has also provided shelter when needed for her teenage granddaughter Crystal.

Over an 18-day period, thanks to the work of complete strangers, Pat is being rewarded for her sacrifices and hard work.

This marks the 11th year that the Aldergrove Seventh-day Adventist Church has been refurbishing and restoring the homes of well-deserved recipients.

And this project, which started on Friday (May 2) and will culminate with the big reveal on Victoria Day Monday, May 19, is an extensive one.

On the AOK website (aokaldergrove.org), it’s noted that the home’s flooring is in very worn, cabinets need to replaced, windows are “cloudy” due to broken seals and peeling wallpaper is almost everywhere. The house is in dire need of major cleaning and painting. In addition, the rear of the house has a deck that has rotted and a backyard that is a blackberry jungle.

Tapper bought the home 30 years ago, when it was only a year old, and she recently told the Advance that she’s “been praying for a long time to get something done” [Restoring a grandmother’s home, April 22, Langley Advance].

Late Sunday morning, AOK project manager Lorne Brownmiller said the steady mist of rain had a very slight impact on the number of helpers who volunteered their time during the day.

“I’d have to say that the humidity is maybe keeping a few away today, because it’s running high,” Brownmiller said. “But the spirits are wonderful.”

Each year, the AOK’s army of volunteers are motivated by one sole purpose, Browmiller noted: “We’re just trying to make another difference for a family, and it’s going to be accomplished.”

In this case, they are restoring what Brownmiller describes as “a really good environment for Pat and Chase and Crystal.”

The team is doing that by installing new flooring and new plumbing fixtures, completely re-doing the kitchen and adding new doors and windows. The basement is being completely remodeled for the first time since 1980, Brownmiller added. The backyard is also getting an overhaul.

“We want to make the home a little more user-friendly for Pat and her family,” Brownmiller said.

If you would like to help with this year’s project, call 778-549-3896 or 604-856-5879, or email extremehomevolunteer@gmail.com.

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