When Farmington Hills resident Sharon Manning was asked to help with a Life Remodeled homebuilding project, she had no idea it would hit so close to home.
In May, the Farmington Hills city council approved sale of a city-owned property on Rensselaer to Life Remodeled, which does 24-hour, 6-day building projects that result in a home being turned over to a family in need.
"I was asked by the leaders of this particular build to help," Manning said, explaining that she has a background in home construction. "Then I saw the map, and I saw that it was my neighborhood. At that point, how could I not?"
Sponsored by Faith Covenant, Oak Pointe, The Crossing and Grace Chapel churches, Life Remodeled does 24-hour, 6-day home building projects. They turn the home over to a family in need, provided the family agrees to life skills counseling, spiritual guidance, training in money management and home maintenance.
Manning is one of two leaders for beautification teams, which go into neighborhoods ahead of the build and help locals with home and yard improvement projects. She has a list of 200 volunteers who have, over the past three weekends, done yard work, replaced a rotting porch, shored up a wheelchair ramp, painted, weeded and cleared flower beds.
"I now know a lot of my neighbors that I didn't know before," Manning said.
Jillian Kaminga of Dearborn joined the beautification volunteers after hearing about the project at Botsford Hospital, where she works. She said Life Remodeled is her first volunteer experience, and it has been a good one.
In addition to meeting great people, she said, "I enjoy doing something for the community."
Novi resident Arlene Smithson came to Life Remodeled through Oak Pointe church, where she has participated in other community service projects. In addition to the sense of satisfaction that comes with helping others, she said, volunteering "gets me out into the world."
Construction on the house is expected to begin today and be completed Aug. 12. There will be one more beautification day, on Aug. 11, 8 a.m. to noon. For more information or to volunteer, visit liferemodeled.com.