After waiting several days, the Parkers walked into a whole new kitchen. “I can’t believe how big it is, and how beautiful. And I can’t believe how much work they did in such a short period of time,” said AnnaMaria Parker. “I think it’s amazing,” said Olivia Parker.
And the ones behind the five days of painting, measuring, demolishing, and securing each bolt into place are Napervillian Lauren Burke and a team of other home DIYers. Back in July, the group redid the Parkers’ family room, living room, and Olivia’s bedroom as part of the Charity Build Project.
Six months later they’ve come back after winning $10,000 from Home Depot to transform the dark kitchen into a brighter one. “You know what’s happening to our family is hard and I can’t imagine doing it alone,” said AnnaMaria. “So that’s been the biggest blessing honestly just that people take the time just to do anything to brighten our day a little bit.”
The Parkers have been on a difficult two-year road as 13-year-old Olivia is battling glioblastoma, which is a rare form of brain cancer. For Burke, the transformation wasn’t just about getting the job done.
From Strangers to Friends
“Seeing how it impacts the family like the Parkers who deserve to have a beautiful space to be able to come to retreat and relax especially during a trying time as they’ve had the last couple of years, it just feels really good,” said Burke. “It’s cool that – I mean we started out as strangers and now we’re close friends. And It really just is amazing to find that sense of community and be able to help others in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise.”
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.