Volunteers clean up, bring life back to dilapidated Sanford home

Home built in 1800s houses nonprofit organization

By Amanda Castro - Reporter/Anchor

SANFORD, Fla. - A dilapidated home that houses a Sanford nonprofit organization got a much needed cleanup Sunday morning.

The home on East Second Street is the office for Golden Rule Housing. Cynthia Smith is the charity's executive director. She said they help people become first homebuyers, work with the elderly to help pay their utility bills, and connect people to resources offered in the area.

"We have such a need. We cater to the needs of the community, but then we have needs too," Smith said.

A major need is cleaning up the home that was built in the 1800s. The house is falling apart, the yard is overgrown, and it has become a community dumpsite.

But Smith said all of their funding goes back to the people they serve and they can't afford to hire anyone to take care of the home.

Volunteers help clean up a house in Sanford

"It's not in the budget. Not even on our minds, until we come in to work and think something needs to be done," Smith said.

That's when the volunteer group Sanford Community Cleanup stepped in and offered to help. Volunteer Dion Leonhard DiDonna said at first they had to figure out who owned the house.

"Nobody knew if this was abandoned or if it was a haunted house or what it was," DiDonna said.

But after meeting Smith, the volunteers knew they had to help bring the home back to life.

Volunteers of all ages helped clean up the landscape, pick up trash and power wash the house.

"This is going to be a huge difference as far as what it looked like before and what it will look life after," Michael Willis with Florida Pressure Experts said.

Even firefighters with the Sanford Fire Department stopped by and climbed up to the roof to clear off debris.

Volunteers help clean up a house in Sanford

The volunteers are getting results to make it home, sweet home.

"It's being there for each other. It's helping one organization who helps so many people keep their place of business clean and friendly," DiDonna said.

Smith said they are grateful for the help.

"It's awesome! It's just wonderful," Smith said. 
Sanford Community Cleanup organizes a cleanup drive once a month. Find out more out their upcoming events here.
Click here to learn more about Golden Rule Housing and find out how you can help the organization.

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