In 2012, Teresa Sperger and her family were overcome with emotion when they saw their renovated home in Aldergrove for the first time, after volunteers worked tirelessly on it over a two week period. Photograph By Langley Advance files
From Langley Advance
This past Dec. 24, the Extreme Home Repair (EHR) team delivered a Christmas present to remember to two households in Aldergrove.
On Christmas Eve, Laura Canessa was named as one of the recipients for the EHR in May, as her home has serious roof leakage problems that need to be resolved.
The same day, Mike and Misty Shufflebotham received an EHR presentation of flowers along with the message that their house was chosen, as well. The home will be converted to make it wheelchair accessible.
Volunteers from Aldergrove Seventh-day Adventist Church have these two projects on the go, helping two families in need, similar to what they did in 2012.
The projects will launch on Sunday, May 3 and will be completed once again on Victoria Day, Monday, May 18.
Most years, the EHR team tackles a huge project which often requires a major overhaul of a home, in terms of renovations. This year, similar to three years ago, two smaller projects were chosen.
But that doesn’t take away from the impact they will have on the recipients, noted Pastor Mike Dauncey from Aldergrove Seventh-day Adventist Church.
“We can only choose according to what comes across our plates,” Dauncey said. “What did meet our criteria was a couple of smaller projects. So we decided to help improve the lives of two families instead of one this year.”
Dauncey said these two will be less labour intensive, and not as “extreme” as past projects.
“They still require respect,” stressed Dauncey. “Are we going to turn volunteers away? No. Do we need the community’s help? Yes.”
To volunteer or for details on how to help this year, call 778-549-3896, or email email@example.com.
Past sponsors have been very enthusiastic about helping again this year, Dauncey remarked.
This is a busy time of the year for Dauncey and the church.
“We’re just happy that it’s once a year because it’s a lot of work and taxing, but we’re so excited,” Dauncey said.
“By the time the new year comes around, we’re ready to go again.”
He added, “We love helping our community.”
Tim Gertz is the site superintendent with help from longtime EHR volunteer Lorne Brownmiller.
The volunteer work is open to all in the community. While some have the best intentions, they don’t always follow up by showing up to the job site, but Dauncey said any support is appreciated.
“Most people we have helping out aren’t even ‘church people,’” Dauncey said. “We have great volunteers who come from community.”
There is no criteria for volunteers except for the fact they must be 16 years old or older.
Who benefits in 2015
Laura is a single mom in Aldergrove, and her household includes three boys: Dillon, Nick, and Lucas.
The family has been living in a leaky house for some time, now.
The wall on the north side has caused moisture to enter the home, causing all sorts of problems with mildew and mold. There are no heat ducts in the master bedroom or the boys’ room, causing the rooms to be cold. Laura can’t afford such a major repair, so enter the EHR team, which is focusing on taking this task on.
The other recipients live just a few doors down from the 2014 project, where the Tapper family lives on 33A Avenue.
Michael Shufflebotham suffered a thumb injury on Jan. 27, 2010 at his welding job. Through a string of medical issues from this accident, this injury attacked Michael’s nervous system.
Five years later, he is living with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, which has greatly affected his right hand and has now made its way down to his lower leg.
Michael is very limited in his mobility and he can no longer work.
The task at hand is to convert his house into a wheelchair friendly home so life can be made easier for him.
He has a wife (Misty), son (Zack), and daughter (Zoey).
Past recipients continue to share their gratitude with the EHR team, and some relationships have stood the test of time.
To wit: the 2014 recipients, Pat and Chase Tapper keep in touch with Dauncey and others who were involved in the major renos to their Aldergrove home.
“I keep in contact with them on a weekly basis,” Dauncey said. “I take Chase weekly with me to play with my hockey group. And there is another member of our church who has become a mentor to Chase. He comes into the home weekly to see how things are, and checks in on Pat’s situation.”
Dauncey added, “All of the problems that were there before don’t just go away, so you try to continue the relationship and continue to work with recipients over time, so you’re not just going in there to fix the house up and then leave. You keep relationships going with them and try to help them with other areas of their lives.”
For example, Peggy Bergen has been driving Pat to doctor’s appointments.
And the aforementioned mentor to Chase, Dennis Williams, lives in Washington State and crosses the border to help the family out.
© 2015 Langley Advance
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