DALLAS — There were people and tools everywhere. 

Volunteers were using chainsaws and hammers, climbing ladders, tearing out old carpet and putting in new floors.

It looked a little like an extreme home makeover, only on a slightly smaller scale.

Ann James has lived in her home since 1975.

She is the widow of a military veteran and she’s battled illnesses the last few years. Her home was very clean, but the yard was overgrown, the railing on her porch steps was loose and the carpet needed to be replaced.

Those might sound like small problems, but add them together and they take time, money and a lot of energy to fix.

Rebuilding Together North Texas is the answer.

The nonprofit agency has a long waiting list of North Texans who, like James, need help with small repair projects that could turn into major problems if neglected.

“We’re not remodelers. We do critical home repairs,” said Beth Mond of Rebuilding Together North Texas. “Sometimes it’s the difference between having a home and being homeless.”

The agency coordinates with volunteers, like a group from Wells Fargo who worked on James' home alongside some Rebuilding Together North Texas team members.

It only took a day to put in a new floor, clear out her backyard, take down decades-old wallpaper, put up a new ceiling fan and install a new railing to keep James safe as she walked up and down her front steps.

“I think it is wonderful. I am so appreciative, you don’t know how much,” James told the volunteers after she looked around her transformed home. 

“I am about to cry! I do love you all so much, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

“I can see my neighbors!” James said with a smile, stepping ouside her back door.

“This will make life easier for me in my coming days.”

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