Poor Man Repairs Old People’s Homes for Free, Returns from Work & Doesn’t Recognize Own House

A tragedy in a poor man’s life drives him to renovate his older neighbors’ houses for free, and when he returns home one day, he is astounded to find his own house looking nothing like it did before.

A sense of relief flooded Reece’s heart as he glanced at the repaired roof. That was the third house where he’d done repairs that day, but he wasn’t exhausted. Instead, he was relieved that his 88-year-old neighbor no longer had to worry about her roof.

“How much do I need to pay you for that again? I suggest $200! Not a single dime more. And I’m sure it’s a good deal!” Patsy exclaimed.

Reece laughed. “How about just a glass of cold water? Hot weather today, isn’t it?”


For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

“What? Just water?” gasped Patsy. “But…you worked for hours to fix it! No, no, you have to take something!”

“It’s fine, ma’am,” Reece assured her. “I don’t do this for money. I’m happy your roof is fixed, so you won’t have to worry. Water, please?”

Patsy’s eyes widened in disbelief as she offered Reece some water. Her old brain couldn’t comprehend why anyone would do such a thing for free!

“What – what happened here?” he wondered as he stepped inside his house. It looked nothing like before.
She felt awful for being so persistent about the fee, so she offered him groceries in exchange for helping her, which Reece refused too. But she managed to convince him.

Done with his job, Reece loaded his toolbox in his mini truck and headed home.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

Reece was a single father to his 13-year-old son, John, and he worked on a small farm for a living. His wife died shortly after giving birth to John, and his mom, John’s grandmother, had died in a house fire caused by faulty wiring.

Reece was traumatized after losing his mother, which is why he started repairing other people’s houses. He didn’t want another family to lose a loved one because of a little flaw in their home.

Reece’s neighbors, of course, offered him money for the job he did, but Reece never accepted a single dime. For him, repairing their houses was a relief and a form of healing for his traumatized heart.

One day, Reece was busy in the kitchen when he received a call from his 80-year-old neighbor, Mrs. Smith. It was raining outside, and he was microwaving a ready-to-eat lasagna for dinner.

“John! The dinner’s almost ready!” he called out from the kitchen as he went to answer his phone.

“Yes? Reece here.”


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“Hi, Reece. I’m Mrs. Smith. Would you mind coming over to fix my leaking roof, darling? I’m sick, and the roof is troubling me. I called the repairers, but they said they couldn’t come until tomorrow. I heard you’re good at repairs.”

Reece laughed. “Oh, I’m the best! But it’ll take me a while to get there. I’m just in the middle of something. Is that ok?”

“Perfect, honey. Thank you.”

“No issues, ma’am. Your address, please?”

Mrs. Smith gave her address, and Reece was there in a matter of minutes because her house wasn’t far. He was partially drenched after fixing her leaking roof, but after two hours, it was finally done.

“Oh, you got all soaked! Please, have a seat. I’ll make you some tea. And how much should I pay you? Ask generously. You helped this old lady a lot today.”

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

Reece smiled. “I don’t do repairs for money, ma’am. But as a fee, I would love some cinnamon in my tea.”

“For free? Oh, no, no! I can’t do that. You’ll have to charge something.”

“Umm, well then,” Reece said. “How about cookies with tea?”

“Oh dear,” Mrs. Smith clutched her chest. “You’re an angel, darling. Who does things for free these days? I’ll pack some cookies and bread for you. And don’t you dare say no!”

Reece couldn’t refuse Mrs. Smith, so he accepted the bread and cookies. While they were having tea, the older lady revealed she lived alone. Her only daughter lived in a different state.

“Thank you again, darling,” Mrs. Smith told Reece before he left. “I would love to help you out someday. It doesn’t feel right that you came here on this rainy night to help me and you didn’t even charge me for it.”

Reece smiled and held up the bag of cookies and bread. “You forgot you gave me these! Good night!” he said and drove away.


For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

One day, Reece arrived home from work after picking up his son from school, and as he parked his truck and stepped out, he was surprised to see his house looking nothing like it did before. The lawn was mowed, the porch light was repaired, and the trash was neatly disposed of in the bins.

“What – what happened here?” he wondered as he stepped inside. The house was spick and span, and the aroma of something delicious being cooked in the kitchen lingered. It smelled so different from the ready-to-eat meals that he and John had been surviving on!

Then as he stepped into the living room, he saw a young woman and Mrs. Smith waiting for him. “Mrs. Smith? How did you get in here? And what is all this?”

“Do you think you’re the only one who can help, boy?” she asked with a smile. “I did this for you, Reece. By the way, this is my daughter, Catherine. She came home yesterday, and when I told her how you helped me, she worked up this idea. So what do you think? Did we do a good job?”

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

“Oh, Mrs. Smith…” Reece was in tears. “You didn’t need to!”

“Well, Reece,” said Catherine. “We needed to. You’re extremely kind to all the seniors in your neighborhood. Look, I know you’re not going to take the money, and I don’t want to know why, but I genuinely appreciate what you did for my mother.

“This is the least we could do to thank you. Freshen up, and let’s have dinner together! Oh, and if you’re wondering how we got in, that’s thanks to your neighbor, who knew you kept a spare key under the flower pot!” She winked.

Reece was truly grateful. He joined them for dinner at the table and forgot how good a home-cooked meal could be.

“This is delicious!” he said. “I haven’t had such good food in a long time. I couldn’t look after my house because I’d been so tired. Thank you. I mean it with all my heart.”

“Reece dear,” said Mrs. Smith. “Let me tell you something. You may not think what you’re doing is particularly noteworthy, but it is. And we all know that what goes around comes around. So you deserve every bit of appreciation.”

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

What can we learn from this story?

Help the seniors and elderly in whatever way you can. After losing his old mother to a house fire, Recce was very concerned about the other seniors in his neighborhood, so he helped them with any house repairs they may need.
What goes around comes around. Mrs. Smith and Catherine appreciated how Reece jumped in to fix their leaking roof, and they returned his kindness by helping him around the house.
Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them.

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