A family living in the US state of Arizona have gone to extreme lengths to ensure the welfare of their elderly neighbour after she experienced devastating hardship.
In January of 2021, Glendale resident Gean LeVar was rocked by the death of her beloved husband after 58 years of marriage.
When emergency services arrived at Ms LeVar’s home on the day of her husband’s death, they were shocked by the terrible living conditions and declared that the home be condemned.
Having no children or other living family members to turn to, Ms LeVar’s future prospects were grim, but the kindness and compassion of a neighbour that she barely knew completely changed the trajectory of her life.
Upon learning of Ms LeVar’s situation, neighbour Carmen Silva approached Ms LeVar and vowed to set things right.
“I told her, ‘Don’t worry Gean, we’re going to fix it’,” Silva said to CBS News.
Despite living in a small three-bedroom home with eight growing children, Ms Silva and her family made room for Ms LeVar who they welcomed as an adopted grandmother into their family home.
The boys of the house even gave their bed to Ms LeVar and relegated themselves to sleeping on the family couch to ensure her comfort.
When asked by a reporter if she had taken being neighbourly to the extreme, Ms Silva was quick to brush off the notion that her act of kindness was something out of the ordinary.
Gean LeVar was stunned by Ms Silva’s gesture, stating that her place in their family “means everything”.
After being offered a new home and receiving unbelievable support thanks to the Silva family, Ms LeVar’s good fortune only continued when a group of volunteers that assist veterans caught wind of her story.
With Ms LeVar’s departed husband being a US Navy veteran who fought in the Korean War, the nonprofit organisation, Operation Enduring Gratitude, rallied contractors and volunteers in the local community to assist with renovating the condemned home.
And there was no shortage of people putting their hand up to help a local senior in need.
“The amount of gratitude to be expressed to this crowd is unbelievable,” a volunteer told local news.
“Like I said before, it takes an army to serve an army. We’re all joining together to do one thing to make someone’s life better. Thank you for allowing us to do this work.”
Only 16 months removed from the loss of her husband and home, Ms LeVar stood arm-in-arm with the Silva family and kind-hearted community volunteers as she cut the welcome ribbon to her newly renovated home.
A dazzling new kitchen was quick to draw the eye of the overwhelmed recipient who revealed that she is excited to start cooking in the new space.
While the house is hers and hers alone, Ms LeVar sees no sense in having a large space without the presence of loved ones to make it feel like home.
So, she plans to share the house with the Silva family – because that’s what families do.
“She looks very happy,” said Ms Silva. “And I believe it’s because she has a whole family now.”