By Michael Williams
Lois Maiden’s home on Valley View Road in Seymour has provided warmth, security and comfort to three generations of her family. The home is currently occupied by Maiden, who is widowed, her daughter and five grandchildren. In recent years the old homestead has shown signs of wear and tear from 30 years of use. Last year maiden reached out to LIVE-IT Ministries in hopes of getting repairs. Paul Danis of LIVE-IT met with Maiden and accessed the home. Realizing she was in dire need of immediate repair, Danis went to work organizing a plan that would call for raising funds and making necessary repairs.
Dollywood was among the first to get involved in the project. The amusement park donated more than $7,000 in materials and provided 65 carpenters and maintenance employees from the park to complete the project.
“When we first got involved with the project we were unaware that Mrs. Maiden was a former Dollywood employee,” said Amber Davis of Dollywood’s public relations department. “She had retired from Dollywood in 2013.”
Pathways Church pledged $15,000 for materials and Hickory Construction provided $5,000. The renovations began Wednesday morning and the reveal was held Saturday afternoon. The family was provided alternate living arrangements until the big reveal.
“We had to treat the home for termites and replace some flooring and carpet,” said Danis. “The floor in the kitchen had become soft and unstable. We also replaced the dishwasher, refrigerator. In the garage we closed off an area and created a fourth bedroom.”
The renovations were 70 percent complete at the reveal on Saturday. The Maidens arrived home to find workers steadily making repairs. The smell of fresh paint hung in the air as the Maidens arrived home. Stepping inside Lois Maiden’s face lit up when she saw the freshly laid carpet, new appliances, doors, windows and hardwood flooring. She hugged several members of the crew as she passed through the house admiring the craftsmanship of the laborers that worked so diligently to bring the old homestead to life once again.
“I want to thank them all,” said Maiden. “They did this through God and that is all that matters. I could never repay them for what they did.”
According to Danis, the total cost of renovations was estimated at $40,000. Crews will continue working for a few more days until the job is complete.