Elderly woman tours finished home weeks before scheduled move in - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Elderly woman tours her finished home weeks before scheduled move in

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The smell of fresh paint welcomed guests into 94-year-old Jessie Donaldson's Carol Drive home.  The sun shined through new windows and sparkled off the hard wood floor.

"I'm glad my house is fixed, but I won't know my own house when I get in it.  It looks so much better," said Donaldson.

The home looks nothing like the one the WLBT crew walked into in October 2010.  Back then the floor was sinking in, the roof had started to cave in and the bathroom hardly worked.  WLBT's original story struck a cord with Shanehan Westphal.

"I think God puts things in our path.  I think he puts things in our sight daily, but I think its our choice if we act on it or we just walk on by," said Westphal.

"A few days later he gave me a call.  Ever since then we've sorta tag teamed and said, ok, lets make this happen," said Donaldson's grandson-in-law Mark Hardy.

The demolition began in December with the help of Donaldson's family and volunteers from Westphal's church, Pinelake Baptist Church.  Paint, insulation, roofing and more were donated along with the labor.  It took more than a hundred volunteers about seven months to get here.

"If it had not been for the people who came together, worked so closely with us, labored so long, without that we really couldn't have made it happen," said Hardy.

Donaldson, who relies on a wheelchair and walker to get around, now has room to move. The house will be a safe place to care for her mentally disabled daughter and entertain her many grandchildren and great grandchildren.  She is scheduled to move in two weeks.

"Oh, it's beautiful.  I thank the Lord for all the folks that did the free work for me," said Donaldson.

For more information about rebuilding Jessie Donaldson's home or to lend your support go to www.jessiedonaldsonrestore.webs.com

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