A sense of community is helping provide some semblance of peace to a north Austin family.
In the wake of last month’s serial bombings, construction crews and volunteers from Roman Lopez Real Estate Team, who teamed up with the Cedric Benson Foundation, worked on Saturday to repair a family’s home.
Anthony House was the first victim in the killer’s crime spree. He opened an explosive package on his front porch. His house has shown the scars ever since — making it a painful reminder for the family.
“We’re actually connected with this family because they were a former client of ours,” said Neela Beddoe, spokesperson for the Roman Lopez Real Estate Team. “One of our agents has a relationship with the brother-in-law of the deceased and so we reached out to them. When she saw on social media everything that had happened and how close to home it was and it was actually somebody she had worked with.”
The volunteers started early on Saturday and planned to finish by the end of the day.
“We’re hoping that by erasing some of the memories or the damage from the front of the house the family [will be] coming back to a very warm and welcoming new doorstep and a brand new door that they picked out themselves,” Beddoe said. “Also, [we’re] sprucing up the front of the house with our labor and the landscaping hoping that it can kind of be a new chapter, and this will signify the new chapter in their lives.”
A new chapter is what these volunteers are working towards for House’s widow and daughter.
“They’re very strong,” she said. “That’s the impression that I have, that I can relay is that they’re very strong. They’re going through this day by day. Especially when you’re a widow with a young child. The child is her strength and they are each other’s strength and they will get through this.”
Beddoe says they plan to be there for the family every step of the way.
“As a mother myself, I could never imagine experiencing that kind of loss,” she said. “They are very strong and I’m sure that time heals all wounds, but this is the best that we can do to come together and help them.”
It’s a helping hand the volunteers hope will truly make a difference. “That’s what we hope to do for them, and we hope to return some sense of normalcy into their lives,” she said.
The Roman Lopez Real Estate Team say they are hoping to partner with foundations to rehabilitate other homes across the Austin area for people in need.
If you know of a family in need and would like to nominate them, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.