Monday was a very good day for Sarah Scarrow.
The 47-year-old Aldergrove single mother, whose paycheque goes mostly toward paying her mortgage, arrived at her house at 5 p.m. Monday with her three adopted children to find a totally renovated home along with a brand new secondary suite that she can now rent out to help pay the bills.
Scarrow, who works full time, is the latest homeowner to get a massive home renovation courtesy of the Church in the Valley.
“I’m overwhelmed,” said Scarrow of her home, which was upgraded with the help of about 200 volunteers through the church’s non-profit Acts of Kindness Extreme Home Makeover team. “This is beyond anything I could dream of. My broken-down house is gorgeous. ‘Thank you’ just seems way too inadequate. My kids have a home that looks beyond nice.”
Scarrow’s 18-year-old son Nikko was also very pleased with his new home. “It’s pretty amazing. The transformation is ‘Wow’. In my new room, all the walls are fixed and I have electricity now. It’s mind-blowing.”
The Church in the Valley, a Seventh-Day Adventist Church, has been running the home makeover program for 13 years, said Acts of Kindness spokesman Pastor Mike Dauncey.
“We usually pick a house that is in great need of repair,” he said of the projects they take on. Typically, a home renovation costs between $150,000 to $250,000, said Dauncey.
The crew who worked on the repair to Scarrow’s home was from the church and the local community, said Dauncey.
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.
Dauncey said throughout the year they get people nominating families for the free renovation, and they then pay them a visit. In the last 13 years, the church has been involved in 16 home makeovers.
“We have a process where people can nominate a family and we visit those families to hear their stories,” he said. “We want to make the biggest impact, so we combine the story and the need,.”
During the renovation, Scarrow and her children stayed at a suite in Langley.
“Last year we transformed a house into one that is wheelchair accessible, because (a person was) disabled,” added Dauncey. “It’s to help the most in need.”
Dauncey said they got the idea from the television show Extreme Home Makeover and that their mandate is the Langley-Aldergrove area.
Of Scarrow’s home, he added: “We’ve put in a legal suite, so she gains another $900 a month (in rent). There’s all new windows, an all new furnace/heating system, a total rewiring of the house, new floors, interior doors, and a brand new driveway.
“It’s really amazing when you see a group of people come together from the community and do something good for someone in need. It’s a powerful demonstration of humankind.”
Of her new suite, Scarrow said: “The suite is beautiful and it’ll help with the mortgage.”
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 (which donated accommodation for the family), and Steve’s Custom Home Lighting.
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