30 years ago, Don and Joy Norris bought their Gwinnett home. They lived there until 2009 when they moved to Peru for five years to serve as missionaries.

The Norrises – now aged 88 and 75 – partnered with Peruvian churches to do children’s clubs. While away, they had renters living in their home. 

When Don’s health began to decline, the couple returned to Georgia, and when they did, they found their home had been trashed. 

“We had volunteers from our church come and renovate the kitchen and put new hardwood floors down in three rooms in the house,” Joy said. “Some of them worked in the garden, but because the weeds were waist-high, snakes would just run out all over the place.”

In addition, 100+ year old trees in their yard dropped dead branches on their roof during storms, but they had no way to get them off.

That’s when it became clear that more help was needed. Luckily, the Norrises didn’t have to look far.

“I randomly came across Home Repairs on Facebook, and after thinking about it awhile, I decided to call,” Joy said.

After filling out an application and being approved, Home Repairs’ Executive Director Mark Wolfe and the team went out to the Norrises’ to help.

“[They also called one of their partners] Roofserv, a professional roofing company, to inspect the roof. We got to chat with their team for a few minutes, and they were very patient and listened to us,” she said. “They even offered to power wash our gutter guard – which had become discolored from tree sap – so we let them.”

After looking around, Mark asked Joy about their yard, seeing that it needed a lot of work.

The Norrises get help with their yard from their college-aged grandson when he’s able. But because they don’t need all the services a typical yard maintenance contractor offers – and because of their financial position – they needed a different option.

“With the health problems my husband has, the yard had continued to be a stumbling block,” Joy said. “Mark and about 11 volunteers came over and did work on the yard, and we were so impressed.

“They were so polite and so kind, and they just got right to work. If we could pay them we would!”

For Don and Joy, not only did getting help with their yard relieve some physical strain, it also helped to take an emotional weight off their shoulders, too.

“While none of our neighbors have ever said anything about the state of our yard, we sometimes wondered what they thought. Having this help gave us a feeling of dignity back,” she said. “It just made us feel good and by getting the yard back into shape, we can now keep it up better.”

Joy would encourage others who need repair or maintenance help – or can donate time or money –  to reach out to Home Repairs, too.

“You can trust them completely. Their word is their word, and they’ll do anything they can to help,” she said.

 “They’re providing services that seniors really need, and they need donations. If you can give anything or know someone who’s looking to donate, I’d highly recommend Home Repairs.”