Donna Rockwell received a Facebook message on Christmas morning that she will never forget. After spending years worrying about damaged floors and a broken sink, a local company offered to renovate her bathroom for free.
“I just cried,” said Rockwell.
KW Homes chose Rockwell as the winner of their home repair holiday giveaway.
Kevin Whitcher, who owns the company, decided he wanted to gift the renovation project to someone in his community for Christmas.
“If you can give back, if you can pay it forward somehow – that’s really what it’s all about,” said Whitcher.
The company posted about the giveaway on Facebook. Whitcher said they received over 50 nominations, but Rockwell’s story stood out.
“This story just kind of overtook all of them,” said Whitcher.Rockwell, who is retired, is raising her two grandsons, Kyle and Zachary.
“They both have disabilities, special needs. We are really close,” said Rockwell. ” I am trying to make a home for them. Somewhere loving, stable, comfortable.”
After losing her husband and son, months apart, Rockwell and her grandsons eventually moved into their home in Lebanon about five years ago. When they first moved in, Rockwell said it needed a lot of work.
“I have been slowly – and to my ability – trying to make improvements and make things more comfortable,” said Rockwell.
It has been a process for Rockwell and her family, but over the years, the bathroom has remained a top concern.
“I thought actually one day that the tub would fall right through the floor,” said Rockwell.
Whitcher said when his team saw the bathroom, they knew they could help.
“The clothes washer was actually draining into their bathroom sink and the sink was falling off the wall,” said Whitcher.
In a matter of days, Whitcher’s crew gutted the bathroom and renovated it. They put in a shower, new flooring, a toilet and a vanity.
Rockwell and her grandsons returned home from a holiday vacation to see the bathroom transformed. Whitcher’s team also surprised the family and installed some appliances in the kitchen that Rockwell had previously bought, hoping she could one day get them installed.
“I don’t think words can describe it. I was totally overwhelmed,” said Rockwell. “I was so grateful.”
Workers were putting the final touches on the bathroom Thursday. They said the project has been incredibly rewarding.
“I wanted to make sure that she and her boys really felt the moment and really felt like someone actually cared about them and their story,” said Whitcher.
KW Homes is hoping to start a nonprofit to help more families with much-needed renovation projects. If they do that, Rockwell said she will volunteer her time to help.
“Kindness that is extended to you, you need to turn around and do for others,” said Rockwell.