Minnesota volunteers give Allendale ambassador a home makeover
By David Westerfield
Director of Communications
Shreveport-Bossier Community Renewal
Rosie Chaffold - one of the most endearing women you will ever meet - is Allendale's ambassador to the rest of the world. She has won the heart of just about every person she has ever met, including the Minnesota volunteers who came to the first Blitz Build last year.
This year they returned with special gifts for Miss Rosie - a new floor in her kitchen, new cabinets, new windows and caulking throughout the house, new roofing over her front porch and much more. Most of the workers are from the Hope Filled Hands ministry, headed by Community Renewal friend D. J. Bakken. They've also been joined by some kind folks from Koinonia farm near Americus, Ga. Hers is one of five homes in the Allendale neighborhood which volunteers are making renovations on this week.
I've seen Miss Rosie many times since first meeting her three years ago, but I don't think I've ever seen her as happy as she looked Thursday morning. She took me on a tour of her house, even as the work continued around us, proudly pointing out things like the new windows. "They are so clear, I'm afraid I might walk right through them," she said.
Miss Rosie spoke to the volunteers in the cafeteria at lunch, thanking them profusely for coming to Allendale and helping to transform her community.
"Our lives have been changed forever," she said. "I thought I might fall in a hole and die in that house. And now I have a beautiful house. Thank you so much."
Miss Rosie is a Haven House leader who displays a We Care sign in her front yard. She is also the head gardener for the Allendale Garden of Hope and Love, another symbol of the new beginning in the community.
One more word about the Minnesota group: They chartered a bus for the trip and the bus driver was so inspired by the Blitz, that he has jumped in and been helping, too!
All nine of the houses going up this week look nearly complete now, although some have more work to be done on the inside than others. Today at House No. 3, my assignment for the week, we painted, put down floorboards and put up kitchen cabinets. This house is starting to look like a home! We dedicate it Friday afternoon with homeowner Yvonne Staples. Bring your Kleenex if you plan on coming by - it promises to be an emotional event!