Leesport resident Jaime Noll heard sirens in her neighborhood on May 11. Not realizing they were for her, Noll went out her back door to investigate and discovered a crowd of people in her backyard. Noll and her two daughters were surprised by the announcement that they had been selected for a home makeover.
The HBA Restoring Hope Foundation announced Noll as the recipient of the Foundation’s 2017 Build, which is an all-expense-paid home makeover.
“I honestly didn’t think they were picking me,” said Noll about being chosen. “It was very overwhelming. Amazing feeling. I don’t think it’s 100 percent hit me yet.”
Noll was chosen out of 29 applicants.
“HBA Restoring Hope is about giving fellow Berks County residents a hand up, not a hand out,” said Foundation Board Chairman Diane Salks about the selection of the Noll family. “Despite several setbacks, Jaime Noll worked hard to purchase a home for her two daughters, Samantha and Aubrey, and to show them that ‘hard work pays off.’ It’s always challenging choosing just one winner, but we’re excited to help make the lives of this hard working single mom and her two lovely daughters a little easier and more comfortable.”
“I think it’s an amazing organization,” said Noll, who was encouraged by her Mom to fill out the application. “It’s nice to know there are people willing to do this for other people.”
The 2017 Build will take place from Sept. 9 to 15.
Dawn Wivell of HBA Restoring Hope Foundation said all labor is donated by local businesses and individuals.
“Materials are donated by local businesses, donations, and with money raised at fundraisers. Businesses and individuals also donate things like a hotel for the family to stay in, transportation for the big reveal, lunches for the volunteers each day, etc.,” Wivell said.
“Approximately 95 percent of materials and labor are donated. Last year there were over 120 businesses and over 42 individuals who donated or volunteered,” said Salks.
Wivell said they do not know yet what the makeover will entail since the planning process takes place over the next couple months.
“She mainly requested repairs to her windows and back door, which are very drafty, and for us to take a look at the heating/cooling system because certain areas of the house don’t seem to get heated/cooled and the laundry pipes have frozen, so she needs to put a space heater in to avoid that. Secondary requests include her kitchen cabinets which are falling apart, the main bathroom which has some water damage and the back deck which is falling apart,” said Wivell.
“We also do not release the WHAT that we are planning until the family is brought home, after the week’s build,” added Salks. “That way everyone is surprised!”
Wivell explained the criteria in order to be selected for a home makeover. Requirements include minimum of three years of being a homeowner of an owner-occupied property on a permanent foundation (no mobile homes), property must be deeded and all mortgages or loans in applicant’s name, and the applicant must agree to sign required release forms, must agree to have credit report pulled and analyzed, must agree to obtain and have criminal history (Pennsylvania State Police) analyzed, have current homeowner’s insurance, be current on mortgage, be current on property taxes, and be current on municipal utilities.
The makeover if now in its 7th year. Previous winners include the Yarosz family of Sinking Spring in 2016,the Landis family of Sinking Spring in 2015, the Welgo family of Mohrsville in 2014, the Pieller family of Womelsdorf in 2013, the VanSant family of Muhlenberg Township in 2012 and the Eisenhower family of Shartlesville in 2011.
The Restoring Hope Foundation won Best Foundation for National Philanthropy Day in 2015.
For more information visit HBArestoringHOPE.org.