Elderly woman gets offer of free home make-over

Virginia Michaels’s house in Plumstead.

Two Fish Hoek women are paying it forward by renovating an elderly woman’s house at no cost.

Business partners Madelyn New and Inga Andersen say they met Virginia Micheals, 78, while renovating her neighbour’s house in Plumstead. They noticed Ms Michaels’s house could use some “TLC“.

“The house needed some attention inside too but otherwise was in pristine condition,” said Ms New. “It was neat and tidy, and everything was in its place. She is an amazing woman and is feisty and full of life. We adore her.”

The two posted a plea on Facebook asking for supplies and stating that they will be doing the work themselves.

“The response was overwhelming. I couldn’t believe it,” said Ms New.

The post was shared several times and the two now have a team of 11 people helping with the renovations.

“A man messaged and said he had just removed a full kitchen on a job he was busy with and wanted to donate the entire kitchen and the fitting of it. People offered to pay for labour, donated paint, equipment, and their time,” Ms New said.

Ms Andersen said they would be renovating the entire house. The roof, she said, was in serious need of repair and the inside and the outside of the house would be painted.

A new kitchen will be installed, and a shower will built in the bathroom which only has a free-standing bath at the moment. The house’s original Oregon pine floors will be polished and sealed and the vegetable patch revived.

Ms Michaels said she was surprised when the two women asked to see her house.

“They walked around and had a look on the inside and the outside and then asked me when is my birthday. I said on Boxing Day, and the one then said they had a birthday present for me. I thought it’s strange because they don’t know me, but I asked what it was. They then came out with the whole bag of potatoes, and I just burst into tears.”

Ms Michaels inherited the house as a young woman and has been living in it for 60 years.

“I’ve had several people offering to buy the house, but it has a good spirit and it is a happy home so I want to stay in it,” she said.

She said she had received some complaints from people in the neighbourhood about the state of her house.

“I’ve received letters in my mailbox saying I should do something about the state of the house, but I can’t afford it. I’ve often prayed to God saying please give me some paint, I will paint it myself and now these two angels have crossed my path,” she said.

Ms Michaels said she trusted Ms New and Ms Andersen completely with the renovation.

“They did an amazing job for my neighbour, and I’m so excited about it.”

She is a vegetarian and grows much of her own food so she is excited at the prospect of having a new vegetable patch.

“When I told my daughter about it, I said it was better than winning the lotto.”

Ms New said while they had most of the materials needed for the renovation, they still needed some internal ceiling paint, drop sheets, painting equipment and sealant for the roof. The renovations were due to start at the end of August and should take about two weeks, weather permitting, she said.

Call or WhatsApp Ms New at 079 028 6060 if you want to get involved.

A shower will be added to Virginia’s Michaels’s bathroom.
Virginia’s Michaels’s kitchen will get a full make-over.