Builders Care, an organization devoted to helping families in need do some much-needed renovations on their homes, is at it again.
This time, it is helping a North Fort Myers family that has struggled with health issues and unemployment replace a roof that has been badly in need in repair for years.
On Thursday, Builders Care, along with Crowther Roofing, surprised the recipient, Christina Hunt, at her Gramac Drive home and announced they were going to repair her roof for free.
For Hunt, it was a tear-jerking experience and one more blessing for a family that hadn't felt much joy in recent times, but may now may be seeing the tide turn in their favor.
"I'm overwhelmed. I never thought it would happen," Hunt said, her voice quivering. "I've always been a more giving person than taking, and I think there's someone who deserves this more than me."
Builders Care Executive Director Heidi Taulman said she was happy builders like Crowther offer such amazing gifts.
"Any time you go into someone's home and make their living arrangements better, it's an amazing gift, and their house was falling in around them," Taulman said. "It's great they're getting the help because sometimes those who need the help fall through the cracks."
Kevin Kallans, president of Crowther Roofing said Builders Care led them to the Hunt family and that they have done these projects for years.
"We've been doing this since the '70s. We believe you have to give back to the community and the strength is in the community you're in," Kallans said. "That's why we're trying to give back."
Kallans said the projected cost of the project is between $8,000 and $10,000.After the ceremony the builders went to begin work, which was expected to be finished Saturday, weather permitting.
The Hunts fell on tough times after husband David lost his job and Christina came down with a rare form of pneumonia that almost took her life, and suffered two heart attacks in the hospital. She now deals with severe memory loss, balance and speech issues and brain impairment.
David Hunt was unable to attend, as his truck broke down and was stranded in Rhode Island.
But despite all these issues, Hunt said she is proud to live in a community where so many people care.
"I have valve leakage and I'm always tired. I sleep 20 hours a day, but I'm blessed that I live in Lee County," Hunt said. "I have the best cardiologist and the best neighbors in the world."
The family chose to pay off the house before doing the work that was necessary. All that was pushed back when the tough times started, and the roof soon deteriorated to the point where there was damage to much of the indoor drywall.
"We did the right thing and then I got sick and my husband laid off and it's been a struggle ever since," Hunt said. "We've been patching it, but it just couldn't do it anymore so we had to tarp it."
But better times may be coming, beyond the generosity of strangers.
"It took me three years to get where I am now. I'm going to see my cardiologist and maybe this will be another blessing," Hunt said. "Maybe fewer hospital trips and we're glad for that. It's been a week of blessings."
This is the 154th project Builders Care has done since its inception in 2005, to the tune of about $2.5 million.
The mission of Builders Care is to provide emergency construction services at no cost to needy homeowners who cannot obtain repairs through traditional means.