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Tri-cities businesses rallied to donate $90,000 to restore home for foster kids

Johnson City Press • Updated Jul 3, 2018 at 11:40 AM

When former Milligan cheer and dance coach Rhonda Paulson realized that traumatized children had to sit in the sterile, cold offices of the Department of Child Service’s office, she sparked a plan to make the wait for a new foster family calmer and more enjoyable.

From June to August 2017, Ronda and her husband, Corey, worked with the community to raise $75,000 to launch a nonprofit named Isaiah 117 House and purchase a residential building to provide a home for these transitioning children.

Within just 30 days, they met their goal and purchased a home in September 2017. 

However, the dilapidated condition of the 4-bedroom house made it uninhabitable and required serious renovations. Paulson reached out to Mitch Cox Construction’s Daniel Lewis and Travis Royston to make some initial adjustments to the doors and floors. But the MCC team realized the home needed a lot more work.

“When I realized we’d have to tear out a lot more, I asked our network of vendors to help us out,” said Lewis.

At Lewis’ request, the business community’s donations and efforts snowballed to renovate the home. A team of subcontractors and vendors gave their time and resources, gutting the house down to the framing and studs and replacing everything.

The team finished the home in time for its ribbon-cutting on June 15 and provided a place of solace for its first foster child a week later.

“The child didn’t want to leave her caretaker and was crying,” Paulson said. “But instead of taking the child to an office cubicle, we said enthusiastically, ‘Did you know we get to go to a house with a playground, and books, and bubbles, and snacks?’ The child’s tears stopped, and soon she was having a great time coloring and playing.”

The Isaiah 117 House can serve 10-12 children at one time, and Paulson said she is ‘forever indebted’ to the companies who pitched in to make the project possible.

These companies include the following:

  • ABC Supply
  • All Seasons Insulation
  • American Plumbing
  • Appalachian Gypsum
  • Bracken Paving
  • Blue Water Industries
  • Builders FirstSource
  • Cannon’s Furniture
  • City Electric
  • Cline Holder Electric Supply
  • Efrain Oviedo
  • Ferguson Enterprises
  • Gary Zan Brown
  • Green-Up Lawn and Landscaping
  • Kitchens By Design
  • Lowes
  • K & K Electric
  • Keller Williams
  • Mid Atlantic Roofing Supply
  • Power Siders Plus
  • REIK Construction
  • Summers-Taylor
  • Tri-Cities Construction Services
  • Web-Don

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