The Pizzazz in a Greater Blessing Project

Submitted by Glen Barton
Vice President, US Field Operations

A couple of years ago, during a break at a Fuller Center Board Meeting, one of the board members asked me “When the walls go up on a new build that is the pizzazz moment. What is the pizzazz moment of a Greater Blessing  repair? “ Getting involved in the families’ lives. Knowing what they had for breakfast or how they feel that day" was my response.

This last week, I traveled to Minden, LA to help plan the 2011 Millard Fuller Legacy Build. Part of what I wanted to do was get a good look at the eight repairs scheduled for this years’ Legacy Build.  I wanted to get some idea of the scope of work, get some pictures and be able to give the Greater Blessing house captains an idea of what their challenges would be.   By meeting the homeowners and getting to know their stories I found out much more.  

I found families that are living in homes with leaking roofs, holes in floors, no heat, and much more. But out of despair comes hope. Hope that comes from homeowners like Ronnie Reamer and Allan Combs  who will have the opportunity to have their homes repaired during the upcoming 2011 Millard Fuller Legacy Build . Ronnie is 53 and has lived in his current home for over 40 years. Ronnie teaches the adult Sunday school class at his local church where he walks to every Sunday.

His house was moved to its current location some 40 years ago.The original family home that was on the location was torn down. But unfortunately time and very little money have played a part in not being able to keep up with the many needed repairs to this family home. Ronnie is the care giver for his older brother who had a head injury following a serious automobile accident some 20 years ago. Ronnie manages the local Wendy’s. Ronnie says his goal was always to fix the house up but the money was never there. The house certainly needs repair. The old tin roof is on its last legs. The rear porch and bathroom in the back needs to be torn off and rebuilt. New vinyl siding, a new metal roof, windows, and a rebuilt front porch and steps will compete the exterior repairs. Ronnie is excited about the repairs. He is spreading the word that Fuller Center is making a real difference in his neighborhood.

One could say that Allan and his wife have had some bad breaks. Six years ago their daughter died two days after their granddaughter was born and they took on the responsibility of raising their grandchild.. Allan’s wife also had a kidney transplant five years ago. Less than four years ago their home caught on fire. While the home was saved there were damages that were not covered by insurance.  Last year Allan’s wife in her early 50s suffered a stroke, leaving Allan as the caregiver for his granddaughter and wife. Yet Allan pushes on and doesn’t let life get him down.  He too is excited about having his house improved with a wheelchair ramp, bathroom and flooring repairs. “This is such a blessing to our family” Allan stated.  

Registration material is now available on the Fuller Center website. Sign up and come meet Ronnie, Allan and the other homeowners. They will become part of your family and you too will receive a Greater Blessing.        

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