Wishmakers program helps Indianapolis couple

Wishmakers program helps Indianapolis couple

Some say good fences make good neighbors. Joe and Brenda Vaughn of Carmel say good neighbors mend fences, paint houses and do whatever else needs to be done when you can’t do it yourself.

Last year, Brenda was diagnosed with cancer. As she entered treatment and underwent several surgeries, she left her teaching job at Heritage Christian School. Joe’s job as a municipality leasing specialist disappeared with the shrinking economy. All the while, medical bills continued to fill their mailbox.

Along with the bills came frequent letters from their homeowners association about maintenance issues like faded paint and sections of siding torn loose by storms. "We could see the property was deteriorated - we didn't like it," Joe says. But between Joe's limited mobility with bad knees and ankles, Brenda's illness and their limited income, the couple of 28 years didn't have the ability or money to get the work done.

Then Peg Prough, the Vaughns' neighbor and friend of eight years, stepped in. Prough, an Angie's List member, says she wanted to help the Vaughns because they've always helped others when they could. "When they were working, they were always giving philanthropically," Prough says. She nominated them for the Angie's List Wishmakers program, which in turn requested help from highly rated home service companies.

First, Thermal Window & Siding reattached the damaged siding and a dryer vent. Mitch Thompson, the company's president, says helping out is something that hits close to home. "If I had a family member or someone I knew in need, I would want someone to help them," Thompson says. Top-rated USA Roofing Systems & Exteriors reattached shingles, repaired chimney trim, and replaced flashing and caulking. "We know we need to help others where the opportunity exists," says co-owner James Bacon.

Next, Roof Cleaning Plus pressure washed siding and cleaned the roof. "In this economy, it's more difficult to volunteer, but if you make it a way of life, it comes naturally," says owner Gloria Mitscher.

Finally, Gutter Covers of Indiana cleaned the gutters and installed covers and highly rated D & J Painting & Carpet Cleaning sanded peeling paint and applied fresh coats donated by Porter Paints. D & J owner Randy Jones says a sense of responsibility drove him to help. "I think being able to take care of people is what I'm supposed to be doing," Jones says.

All told, participating companies donated more than $4,000 in services to restore the Vaughns' home. "Now they have a nice home to come home to - I think that's part of feeling better and getting better," Prough says.

The Vaughns agree. "What a blessing it is to see it restored to a really nice condition," Joe says. "We're just elated and so appreciative."

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