PHOTOS AND VIDEO: Home renos in Aldergrove life altering for two families

The Acts of Kindness Extreme Home Repair team has done it again.

Each year, through the Aldergrove Seventh-day Adventist Church, volunteers renovate the homes of families in need.

Most years, the EHR team tackles a huge project which often requires a major overhaul of a home, in terms of renovations. This year, similar to three years ago, two smaller projects were chosen.

Two families were the recipients of much-needed house renos, similar to what happened in 2012.

The work started on Sunday, May 3, and was completed on Victoria Day, Monday, May 18.

This year’s recipients were Laura Canessa, a single mom to three boys: Dillon, Nick, and Lucas, as well as the Shufflebotham family.

Before the EHR team did their work, Canessa and her sons had been living in a leaky house for some time.

The wall on the north side had caused moisture to enter the home, causing problems with mildew and mold. There were no heat ducts in the master bedroom or the boys’ room, causing the rooms to be cold.

The other recipients, the Shufflebothams, live just a few doors down from the 2014 project, where the Tapper family lives on 33A Avenue.

Mike Shufflebotham suffered a thumb injury on Jan. 27, 2010 at his welding job.

Through a string of medical issues from this accident, this injury attacked Mike’s nervous system. Five years later, he is living with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, which has greatly affected his right hand and has now made its way down to his lower leg.

Mike is very limited in his mobility and can no longer work. The goal was to convert his house into a wheelchair friendly home so life can be made easier for him.

Mike’s family includes his wife Misty, son Zach, and daughter Zoey.

In total, roughly 90 workers and 40 support staff volunteered at both projects and more than 60 companies contributed to the construction needs, not only with materials but also with manpower in some cases.

Project coordinator Tim Gertz said renos to the Shufflebotham home included the addition of a gas fireplace, raising the sunken living room, the installation of a wheelchair-friendly washroom, new floors, widened doors, and a wheelchair ramp put into the garage.

Gertz is retired so he spends his time going on mission projects and doing volunteer work such as this.

“It will make a lot [of difference],” said Gertz, adding, “They are a really a nice family. They are bubbly even though they are going through all the hardships and stuff.”

Misty Shufflebotham said “it’s hard to put into words,” the appreciation the family has for the EHR volunteers.

“For myself personally, it’s a huge weight off my shoulders knowing that Mike can move around the house. He’s got his independence back around the house.”

Aldergrove Seventh-Day Adventist Church pastor Mike Dauncey welcomed the Shufflebotham family home late Monday afternoon.

“We take this quite seriously who we choose each year to [help],” Dauncey told the family. “We felt that we wanted to give you a hand. We saw your situation, Mike, our heart goes out to you and what you’ve had to endure for the last five years, plus. And we’re just so glad that all of us can have a part in that, in making life easier for you, and better, and we really hope this home will… help you guys out. We hope this Victoria Day will be something that you’ll remember for the rest of your lives.”


At the Canessa home, the focus was to make the house dry, Dauncey noted. The house had mold and moisture was leaking by the chimney.

Thankfully, upon closer inspection, the north wall did not have to be replaced.

There were a couple of floods in the house “that were not cleaned properly,” Dauncey explained: “We were happy to discover that we did not have to remove the wall.”

Volunteers removed the chimney and fixed the leak in the living room. New flooring from Nufloors (which supplied flooring material for both homes) was installed, and the house was “completely updated” with new trim and mouldings, Dauncey said.

“Anything that had to be repaired cosmetically was repaired,” the pastor said. “We added backsplash to the kitchen to freshen it up and also did a lot of landscaping, and we replaced two thirds of her perimeter tile to make sure the foundation was dry.”

Volunteers found that piping that ran to the ditch was clogged with dirt and mud, and new perforated pipe was put in around the foundation.

The entire exterior of the house was painted, as well.

When Laura Canessa saw her home for fully renovated home for the first time, she was “visibly emotional,” Dauncey related.

“She was crying the whole tour,” Dauncey said. “To see that kind of response… we knows it all going to be okay from now on.”

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