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Addison senior citizen to benefit from free home repairs

Addison Township Supervisor Bruce Pearson stands outside the home of Addison resident Gordina Krebiehl, who’s going to get some free home repairs and improvements on April 30 thanks to the Northeast Oakland Chapter of Christmas in Action. (click for larger version)
April 20, 2011 - One lucky senior citizen in Addison Township will be getting her own version ABC's hit show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition when volunteers from Christmas in Action will spend Saturday, April 30 fixing her home.

According to Addison Township Supervisor Bruce Pearson, Gordina Krebiehl will be getting a new sidewalk, a handicapped ramp, a portion of her driveway rebuilt, fresh paint and new doors and gutters.

"Both of her doors were completely rotted off....we are going to put in two brand new entrance doors," Pearson said. "We have about a full's day worth of work."

Pearson nominated her house after he went out and visited her on some official township business. "When I saw what she needed, I knew this was the ideal candidate to help."

Christmas in Action of Oakland County has been helping low-income senior citizens with free home repairs since 1996. In December 2010, the townships of Addison, Oxford, Lake Orion and Oakland all got together to form the Northeast Oakland Chapter of Christmas in Action.

CIA is a national organization that began in 1973 in Midland, Texas.

The group's mission statement reads "volunteers provide the free home repairs that enable low-income and handicapped seniors to safely remain in their homes."

To accomplish this, CIA relies on local businesses, community groups, churches and individuals to provide financial, material and volunteer support each year.

In order to qualify for the program, the senior must be living in a house that is insured and their taxes have to be current. They have to be the owner of a single family home, with an individual income of less than $20,000 and a combined income of less than $25,000.

Pearson is glad each township is able to help out and support members of their community.

"It's a way we keep in tune with our people so they are not forgotten in town," he said. "When we see somebody that needs help, this is completely free for them...just doing our job is one thing, but being connected to the community and know who needs helps and who doesn't need help, that is also part of our job."

"For us, it is something that has to be done because some of the seniors outlive their pensions," he added. "When you get into the 80s and 90s, your pension was probably designed to only last until you were in your 70s. When you start to get older and you can't take care of yourself, then it is time for everyone else to help."

Pearson noted everyone in the community has stepped up and helped, either through their time during the day or through donations.

"We raised enough money in donations to pay for this whole thing," he said. "We didn't have to use our Christmas in Action money; we got enough from churches and different things that were already donated.

He noted a couple of houses were already being eyed for the next Christmas in Action project.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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