Womelsdorf family getting home makeover from Restoring Hope Foundation

Reading Eagle

by Staff

About 100 to 150 volunteers began work this week to restore the three-story Womelsdorf row home of widow Lisa Pieller and her two teenage children.

Pieller's home was selected from 12 applicants as the 2013 home makeover project of the Home Builders Association of Berks County Restoring Hope Foundation.

"One of reasons we selected Lisa is because we wanted to give her a hand up and not a handout," said Christian Malesic, executive director of the association.

He described Pieller as a full-time worker who lost her husband, Brian, three years ago in a tree-trimming accident at age 41.

"Lisa was trying to keep up with repairs on her home, but it kind of got overwhelming for her," Malesic said.

In a week's time, Malesic said, volunteers will level a slanted floor in one room, install drywall in some areas, provide new insulation throughout the home, upgrade the heating and cooling systems, refurbish the kitchen, paint and trim every wall and improve landscaping.

Some furniture and food also have been donated to the family.

"We will have what we call the 'big reveal' at noon Saturday, when volunteers will welcome the family back to their home when they arrive in a limousine," Malesic said. "Visitors will be welcome to tour the home at 11 a.m." 

He said that during the work Pieller and son, Eric, 16, and daughter, Ashley, 15, are staying in an apartment in western Berks provided by one of the volunteers.

Malesic said Zion United Church of Christ, Womelsdorf, has opened its doors as a place for volunteers to have lunch. The Lebanon Builders Association also is providing volunteers for the project.