Beds re­placed, pantry stocked

Car­ing

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - Con­tin­ued from B Andy Sharp / For Amer­i­can-states­man

bed­ding in all the rooms and some new beds.

They en­tered a beau­ti­ful home filled with vol­un­teers from Am­plify Credit Union who had spent two days mak­ing over the house.

“It’s awe­some,” Yancy said af­ter tak­ing it all in. “I didn’t ex­pect this.” Then she turned to Terry McCoy, se­nior train­ing spe­cial­ist at Am­plify, who spear­headed the ef­fort. “You just talked about the car­pet. I didn’t ex­pect all this.”

The Yancy and Cousins fam­ily is part of the Austin Amer­i­can-States­man’s Sea­son for Car­ing pro­gram, which high­lights the needs of 12 fea­tured fam­i­lies and helps hun­dreds of oth­ers through lo­cal non­profit agen­cies.

Reader and busi­ness do­na­tions have been rolling in since the sto­ries first ap­peared Nov. 25. The Yancy and Cousins fam­ily is the sec­ond fam­ily Am­plify has adopted this month. The credit union treated Marine Tracy Jack­son, who is in a wheel­chair be­cause of mul­ti­ple sclero­sis, to a shop­ping spree while vol­un­teers made her apart­ment more ac­ces­si­ble and set up a new com­puter.

For the Yancy and Cousins fam­ily, 21 Am­plify em­ploy­ees gave more than 180 hours to clean the Round Rock home from top to bot­tom and re­dec­o­rate it. They also re­placed beds that were bro­ken; or­ga­nized clos­ets and added laun­dry ham­pers; stocked the re­frig­er­a­tor, freezer and pantry; and bought a new mi­crowave. A new dish­washer is on its way, and new mat­tresses from Fac­tory Mat­tress Sales for two of the girls will be de­liv­ered soon.

As soon as the fam­ily en­tered the house, the chil­dren ran through the first floor to see the dec­o­rated Christ­mas tree with presents and new bikes given by Am­plify em­ploy­ees. They took in the clean kitchen with a new ta­ble with eight chairs and a re­built counter and above-cab­i­net light­ing. They ran through the fam­ily room with new fur­ni­ture and into their par­ents’ bed­room with new fur­ni­ture and a fixed bath­room.

Then they headed up­stairs, where they screamed when they saw the game room. Am­plify painted one wall with chalk­board paint and drew the names of all the chil­dren in chalk on the wall. They set up bean­bag chairs and a new com­puter.

Then each kid ran to his or her room and saw the new bed­ding in a clean room. “I love it!” said 12year-old Tracy. “Thank you so much.”

“It’s pretty,” said 4year-old Jes­sica, who showed off the room where she and her sis­ter Nina, 8, have match­ing beds and brother Ed­die Jr., 2, has a new Light­ning McQueen bed.

Am­plify vol­un­teers also put to­gether pa­tio fur­ni­ture and did some land­scap­ing in the back­yard.

The trans­for­ma­tion was about a $20,000 gift from Am­plify. It also en­listed help and do­na­tions from Hard­woodBar­gains.com, Austin Car­pet and Win­dows, Austin Trades­man, Junc­tion Point Stu­dios and Rub­bish Works.

One of the goals, McCoy said, was to give the fam­ily a fresh start and have some sys­tems in place to make the 3,500square-foot home eas­ier to care for.

Sit­ting in the fam­ily room with new fur­ni­ture, McCoy con­fessed that right now it looks a lot like a model home, but the fam­ily could make it its own.

“I want to keep it like this,” Cousins said. “It looks good. I’m not go­ing to touch a thing. I think up­keep should be a lot eas­ier for us.”

Cousins and Yancy bought their Round Rock home in 2006, shortly af­ter mov­ing to Texas to give their chil­dren a bet­ter life away from the gangs, drugs and al­co­hol that had sur­rounded them.

They have strug­gled

Jamie Yancy and Ed­die Cousins cel­e­brate in their re­done kitchen with Am­plify Credit Union vol­un­teer Terry McCoy (left). Am­plify cleaned the kitchen and re­built the counter and above-cab­i­net light­ing.

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