Paying It Forward for a Michigan Mom and Son

August 22, 2016

Rebuilding a Home for a Visually Impaired Man With Cerebral Palsy

Deborah Brown couldn’t afford to make crucial repairs to her nearly 80-year-old Oxford, Michigan home. Brown, a school bus driver for the local district, lives with her adult son, Tim, who is visually impaired and has cerebral palsy. In July 2016, more than 30 volunteers from Charter and the Oakland County affiliate of our partner, Rebuilding Together, joined forces to help repair the Brown family home.

An image of Oxford, Michigan resident Deborah Brown standing with her son, Tim, who is visually impaired and has cerebral palsy.

Oxford, Michigan resident Deborah Brown stands with her son, Tim, who is visually impaired and has cerebral palsy.

In the summer, when school’s out, Deborah works at a vegetable stand to earn extra money. Tim is a member of the housekeeping crew at the Palace of Auburn Hills. In his spare time, he volunteers at the local food bank and at the Goodwill store. Although Deborah and Tim work hard, they don’t have the money or manpower to renovate their house.

Making a Big Difference in Little Time

Charter our Community volunteers did a tremendous amount of work over the course of the day, nearly rebuilding the Brown family home from ground up. In the bathroom, they installed a new tub, sink, toilet and floor. A new front door and electronic garage door were also added to the house. Outside, volunteers trimmed trees, repaired fencing, built a new front porch and cleared the yard. Indoors they repainted much of the interior, installed new windows, and replaced the hot water heater, among other repairs.

An image of Charter volunteers in front of a home they rebuilt in Oxford, Michigan.

Charter volunteers stand in front of Brown’s Oxford, Michigan home.

“It’s so humbling. It really is,” Deborah said. “I think this is wonderful. This is awesome that these people are out here fixing up our house.”

Feeling Good While Giving Back

Tim was also very appreciative of the volunteers’ efforts. “This is so exciting. I think this is wonderful. These people are out here fixing up our house. I appreciate everybody coming out to do all [of] this work.”

Deborah said that she intends to “pay it forward” following the help that they received.  “I will be a volunteer… for the rest of my life. Whatever they need, whenever they need it.”

For the Charter Communications volunteers, the Oxford rebuild was a uniquely fulfilling opportunity to help the community. “It’s just our way of giving back,” said Oxford resident Mike Rebtoy, who is a Senior Broadband Technician. “It just makes you feel really good inside.”