Beds replaced, pantry stocked
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.