Young couples usually spend their summers outdoors kayaking, relaxing or traveling.
But Kristin and Adam Polhemus did none of these things.
Instead, this young married couple from Hamilton Township, New Jersey, spent their summer repairing a neighboring old decrepit home.
The home belonged to Anne Glacey, a retired teacher, who lived in almost complete isolation.She grew up in the old, aging home and couldn’t afford to pay the rising costs for code violations and repairs. At one point she was facing up to $3000 per day in fines – the town of Hamilton Township, New Jersey, eventually sent her a letter stating that she needed to work on her home or else she’d be fined $1000 per day per violation.
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Living as a recluse, Anne had no friends or family to help her.
The paint on her home was peeling off, her grass and bushes were out of control, and a corroded old car sat deserted on her yard.
Anne was so stressed, and was helpless — until, one day, she strolled outside and saw Kristin and Adam, the young couple who moved next door about five years earlier, doing something unbelievable…
Anne says that the couple were the first and only neighbors to ever reach out to her to form a friendship. They noted her crumbling home, and were aware of her issues, but when they would bring it up, Anne would quickly change the subject as it was embarrassing.
“She said, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do, I can’t do this myself,’ ” Adam recalls. “And I said, ‘Anne, we’ll help you get this fixed.’ ”
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So when Anne woke up, and saw numerous volunteers of friends and neighbors working on her home, she was absolutely speechless. There was no way she would be able to do the manual labor herself!
While the volunteers had their work cut out for themselves, as there was much work to do, something else happened… Anne began coming out of her shell. After so many years of living as a recluse, everyone was so happy to see her bright and cheery smile as she brought the loving neighbors homemade carrot cake and fresh pressed orange juice.
“To see the joy on our neighbor’s face, I think the biggest thing is Anne’s happiness and her kind of restored life,” Adam told PEOPLE. “Her outgoingness to other neighbors is based on her house being improved.”
The Hamilton Township has now erased ALL of her violations so she can live without the burden hanging over her head. “I appreciate their generosity,” Anne says of her big-hearted neighbors. “They are good Samaritans, really wonderful and thoughtful. Not everyone would arise to the occasion and I am grateful for it.”
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