Repair Affair's Impact: Kenny's Miracle

Katy Buthard posing in front of the new door on her home
Katie Bethards posing in front of the new door on her family's home.

On permanent disability, 67 year old John, a Vietnam veteran, struggles to make ends meet on a very limited income. He's raising two grandchildren, 8 and 10, in the New Albany Indiana home he's owned for 20 years that's badly in need of repairs with peeling paint, crumbling porch steps, and overgrowth taking over the yard. Plagued with chronic health problems, he's been hospitalized twice this year already, and says it's hard to keep it all together.

"It's just gotten away from me, you know," he says. "Things happen. You want to do things and then you don't get around to it and the worse it gets, the worse it gets."

A friend told him about New Directions Repair Affair and, shortly after qualifying for the program, more than 2 dozen volunteers, employees of The Weber Group, arrived early one morning at John's home.

Thanks to Weber volunteers, the steps are fixed, the porch is painted, there's a new back door, the yard is trimmed and neat, and the children have a new paved play area in the backyard. They transformed his home into a more attractive and stable place to raise his grandkids, and John is thankful.

"I had no idea how many people [were] going to be here," he says. "I'm kind of shocked, actually. I really appreciate the chance to have this work done...this has been amazing."

Also amazing? The smile on John's face as he watches his grandchildren playing around the house that is getting a big lift and a new life. A place we hope they will call home for years to come.


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