On a bright and sunny San Diego morning, five local families watched their homes get huge makeovers, all thanks to the kindness of strangers.
On Saturday, 120 volunteers specializing in utility work from across the country joined forces with Rebuilding Together San Diego (RTSD) to make critical repairs to several homes in San Diego's Encanto area.
The volunteers also partnered with Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, whose mission is to ensure that the future is safer and more energy-efficient for longtime homeowners in San Diego.
"The outpouring of dedicated volunteers proves the strength of the national network of Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. We appreciate the dedicated electric cooperative volunteers and are looking forward to working with them and RTSD to give back to the area," said Mary McLaury, Touchstone Energy Chief Operating Officer.
Most of the homeowners who had their houses fixed by volunteers support multiple members of their family on limited incomes and no longer have the physical or financial ability to make the critical repairs themselves.
"These families are very excited about uplifting homes and their street. With limited income, they have not been able to maintain their homes and are extremely thankful for Touchstone Energy's generosity," said Deanne Hutchinson, project manager of RTSD.
Encanto homeowners Robert and Susanne Taylor's house was among the five fixed through the project.
“It’s nice knowing that people out there really care,” Robert told NBC 7.
Susanne said she appreciates RTSD’s generosity. She told NBC 7 that these days she is primarily concerned with taking care of her father, who is battling stage four cancer.
“For me it’s a true blessing. My dad just came down with stage four cancer, and we’ve been back and forth to Arizona [where he lives],” she shared. “The yard just got out of control because we’ve been [busy] going back and forth because of my dad, and worrying about our son missing too much school.”
“Honestly, it’s the best,” she added. “We could have never done this ourselves, especially in a one-income family. It’s awesome.”
Touchstone Energy cooperatives and RTSD provided their services at no cost to the homeowners.