When Anne Glancey, a retired school teacher, received notice from the city that she would be fined up to $3,000 per day for code violations and repairs that needed to be made to her home, she didn’t know what do to. She did not have the money to pay for the repairs, and she had no family or friends of whom she could ask for help.
The only contact she regularly made with others was with her neighbors of five years, Adam and Kristin Polhemus.
“Until my wife and I moved in, no neighbors had a conversation with her,” Adam said. “She had no relations with anyone in the neighborhood.”
Anne showed the letter from the city of Hamilton Township to them, which explained that she needed to scrape and paint her house, remove the abandoned and rusted car in her yard, and cut the grass. These were three violations total, each with a fine of “No more than $1,000, per day, per violation,” the notice read. Anne had grown up in the house, and called the letter “very upsetting.”
“She said, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do, I can’t do this myself.’ And I said, ‘Anne, we’ll help you get this fixed,’” Adam explained.
Kristin posted a call for help and volunteers to help make repairs and paint Anne’s house on Facebook:
Her post reads, “Hamilton area friends! Are you free for a few hours this weekend? We need you!
Adam Polhemus and I could use your help for some exterior scraping/painting at the home of our elderly neighbor, Anne. As you know, she received a hefty fine from the township for having peeling paint on the exterior of her home, and she’s on a deadline to scrape and repaint her home to avoid the fine. She’s limited in funds and the physical ability to do the work, and we’d love nothing more than to show her we care.
Here’s how you can help:
1. Comment below to let us know you’re interested in helping out.
2. General hours will be Saturday 1pm – 8pm, Sunday all-day.
Stay for a few hours, stay for many; all help is needed and *appreciated*! Address below.
3. We are in need of TALL LADDERS and we’ll love you forever if you bring yours along.
Lunch and dinner for volunteers will be generously provided by Chick-fil-a of Hamilton Marketplace. Street parking available at our home:
75 Church Street, Hamilton
Thanks for RSVPing so we can reserve a meal for you! We really do need your help; we only have a few people right now and we’re hoping for about 20 volunteers to make this happen.
Anne, Adam and Kristin were overjoyed at the response, as more than 25 kind neighbors showed up over several weekends to volunteer and donate supplies.
“To have people show up because it’s in their heart to do that, to be there and help a complete stranger, that’s truly remarkable,” Adam said.
The volunteers brought their own supplies and tools, sanded the old paint off of the exterior of the house and repainted it, repaired broken siding, landscaped the yard, fixed the porch, and removed and donated the old and rusty unused car to the Purple Heart Foundation charity.
Estimates of the work done put the entire project at around $10,000 to $15,000, all of which was done for free by Anne’s kind neighbors.
“I’m grateful for their helpfulness, generosity and caring…They’re good neighbors,” Anne said.
Anne spent the weekends making and serving homemade orange juice and her family’s special carrot cake to the volunteers.
The Hamilton Township officials reviewed the work and confirmed that all property violations were erased.
“I appreciate their generosity,” Anne said about her kind neighbors. “They are good Samaritans, really wonderful and thoughtful. Not everyone would arise to the occasion and I am grateful for it.”
To Adam and Kristin, this is what being a good neighbor is all about.
“To see the joy on our neighbor’s face, I think the biggest thing is Anne’s happiness and her kind of restored life,” Adam said as Anne has now developed new relationships with her other neighbors. “Her outgoingness to other neighbors is based on her house being improved.”
“A little love goes a long way, and just a little scraping, primer, and light carpentry have done a world of difference not only for this little historic home, but for a neighbor’s heart,” Kristin wrote.
Anne’s kind neighbors show us how much of a beautiful difference we can make when we come together to love and help one another. If you would like to see more kindness happening in your community, consider starting a small group with some neighbors where you regularly seek out and support those who may need some help. Simple things such as home repairs, mowing lawns, taking out the trash, preparing meals and even socializing can be difficult for our older generation, and a little support and kindness goes a long way.
Be the difference in your community.
You are Loved.