Renovation brings ‘happy tears’
MEMBERS of the Wanaka community have come together to lend a hand to a family in need.
Mount Aspiring College teacher Andrew Sloan and his wife, Cherie, had been renovating their home last November when Mr Sloan had a bike accident and was found to have a brain tumour.
With Mr Sloan often in Dunedin for chemotherapy, Mrs Sloan struggles to find time to finish the renovations.
Word got out to Mr Sloan’s colleagues at the college, Clare ThomasMoore and Jenny Edgar, who rustled up about 30 volunteers and supplies from local businesses and got to work at the Sloans’ home at both Queen’s Birthday Weekend and the weekend following.
The Sloan family moved out while the volunteers were painting, decorating, gardening and woodstacking.
Mrs ThomasMoore was impressed by the level of support from the community.
‘‘I didn’t really realise how many people want to give, want to help, over and above what we were going to ask for. So many of our small local businesses are generous way beyond their size.’’
When the Sloans returned, they were blown away.
‘‘To come home to a fully painted, renovated house is unbelievable,’’ Mr Sloan said.
‘‘The thought, care and time gone into this project has been huge.
‘‘When we walked in the door there were lots of ‘wows’, ‘oh my gosh, look at that’ and happy tears, mostly from Cherie.’’
It is not the first instance of generosity the Sloans have received from the local community.
In March, another colleague, Gena Bagley, set up a Givealittle page to support the family during Mr Sloan’s recovery.
It has so far raised more than $22,000 from 267 donations.
Andrew Sloan trains for the 2013 Wanaka Challenge race.