Doors by Don L.

Reglinda’s husband recently passed away, and she was having to learn to live alone. They had lived in their small but cozy house for many years, but things felt different now that she was on her own. During the last three years, her husband had been very ill, and had been unable to keep up with repairs around the house. Consequently, there were some problems, chief among them the doors that didn’t close, function or lock. IMG-7639

“I don’t feel safe being here alone,” Reglinda told us. “I love my little house, but I can barely sleep at night because it doesn’t close up anymore.”

One door wasn’t even on its hinges anymore—it was just leaning against the opening, pretending to be a door. Two other doors refused to latch at all. One latched but was a little messed up. We got to work. It took a couple of days to replace one door, re-hang another, repair a broken jamb, and replace all of the locksets and weather stripping, then install a threshold at the front door. When the work was finished, all the doors shut, locked and were tight against the weather. Reglinda was delighted with the finished project. She thanked us profusely as we left, and wrote thank you over and over on the final paperwork.

Not sure that she had expressed her gratitude thoroughly enough, she wrote a letter to CHRPA:

This letter is written to convey our deepest gratitude for the work your organization has so generously and expertly done for me. Don and Ted worked tirelessly to complete my much-needed front and back doors. Their genuine concern and kindness will always be remembered. If only there were more people like them around, this world would be a happier place. Without your assistance during this difficult time for me, I wouldn’t know what to do…

It is one job of hundreds, one house of the myriad homes we visit, one client of the multitude. But for Ted and I and Reglinda, there is a transaction of good will that went beyond the $527 of doors and hardware. Reglinda feels safe in her beloved home. Ted and I feel affirmed in our volunteer work. The world is, in fact, a happier place for the the connection between the need and the resources and the hands to repair the doors. It isn’t magical or automatic—it requires open hearts, able hands, a few dollars and people willing to give and receive. It’s regular and plain and it makes the world a happier place after all.

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