Berks County Members Help with Extreme Makeover
By Tamyra Horst
Hampden Heights volunteers include (back row) Joe Saadi, Barry Tryon, Carlos Serran and, (front row) Lilly Tryon and Rose Serrano. (Photo by Starla Overton)
Hamburg, Pa., resident Trisha Urban faced insurmountable problems and heartache when her husband, Andy, died nine hours before their daughter was born. She was left with a crumbling, 300-year-old log home along with a six-figure debt as a result of Andy’s congenital heart defect, medical bills and lack of insurance. To make matters worse, only Andy’s name was listed on the deed, mortgage and cars. With no will, Trisha would have to buy them all back.
Area Seventh-day Adventist churches heard the tragic story of this widow and new baby and immediately took up offerings and gathered baby items. Students from Blue Mountain Academy, also in Hamburg, spent a day working on her home, Urban Hideaway Farm. Trisha visited the Pennsylvania Conference’s Hamburg Community church several times to say thank you and to show them how baby Cora was growing.
When ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition chose to build the Urbans a new home, a dozen Adventists made the cut to be volunteers on the project. They volunteered long hours, while still maintaining their regular jobs. “It was worth all the aches and pains and exhaustion,” said Sharon Enevoldson, a member of the Hamburg church. “It was awesome to see the community come together like that. The production team and design stars were very nice to work with, and I can see why they do what they do for others.”
Sharon helped with landscaping, placing furniture, unloading trucks—whatever she was asked to do. Her husband, Eldon, lent his skills as a carpenter working on trim for the fairy-tale themed design.
“It was amazing to experience a construction environment where each trade was not trying to beat a budget or make a profit but working together trying to beat the clock toward a common goal. It’s a work environment that can't be duplicated,'' shares Joe Saadi, a Hampden Heights member who spent long hours installing plumbing.
Barry Tryon, executive secretary for the Pennsylvania Conference and also a member of Hampden Heights, caught a glimpse of the church as he volunteered. “Each person was using their own unique gifts and abilities to get the work done—eager to do whatever was necessary to make it happen. Although they were doing different tasks and had different levels of skill, everyone was working in harmony to make a difference in the lives of this young mother and her daughter.”
Hamburg Community church’s Sharon and Eldon Enevoldson in front of the Urban home they helped build.
Sharon Enevoldson plants flowers in one of the gardens. Volunteers planted more than 600 plants and spread 83 yards of mulch.