Her neighbors and an unidentified group of kind strangers in New Jersey helped restore the woman’s home to its previous state.
Anne Glancey, an elderly woman who had been unable to keep up with repairs to her home, had them made by Kristin Polhemus and her husband Adam of Hamilton, New Jersey, together with a group of 20 volunteers.
“Anne was, and is, extremely grateful for our dedication to her property and her soul,” Kristin Polhemus said. “The project has inspired her to continue improving her home, inside and out, and it established new relationships between Anne and our neighbors.
Polhemus and her husband found out about Glancey and her predicament from the sellers of their home.
Glancey received three violations from the municipality due to the deteriorating condition of her residence.
According to Polhemus, she broke the rules by, among other things, leaving an abandoned automobile in her driveway and allowing her lawn and house to become overgrown and covered in peeling, chipping paint.
“These violations imposed a fine of no more than $1,000 per day, per violation. We knew we needed to help, as these fines would quickly surmount for anyone in Anne’s situation,” Polhemus said. “In life, we are called to love our neighbors as ourselves. We wanted to help her out of an act of love.”
The Polhemuses, together with friends, family, and members of their church, volunteered their time to improve Glancey’s house over the course of six days.
The volunteers themselves purchased the supplies.
“One of our neighbors shored up the foundation and flooring while others performed structural repair to the side porch,” Polhemus said. “We removed, scraped, primed and painted shutters; and we scraped, primed, and painted the exterior of the home. We helped Anne donate her car and we did landscaping to bring her lawn back to its original beauty.”
Adam Polhemus, Polhemus’s spouse and a local police officer, verified to ABC News that the city has dropped all charges against Glancey.
“I can say with certainty that none of us wanted any recognition for this project,” she added. “We do hope that everyone reading this will take a look at their own neighborhoods with a new set of eyes. What needs fixing? Who needs a friend or companion? How can you help? Your neighbors are just family members you don’t know that well yet, and the relationship starts with you. I can’t promise it will be easy, but I can promise it will be worth it.”
Anne Glancey expressed gratitude to her neighbors in an interview with ABC News.
“I’m very grateful for their concern and their help and I tried to be as helpful as I could be when the workers came,” she said. “I think they have a sense of generosity in reaching out to other people and that’s worth noting. It’s something that should be contagious. I hope to live in [my home] happily.”