“I think it’s awesome! I don’t have words. I want to go back and look at everything. They put so much detail into everything,” said Michele Kassa about her newly remodeled home.
Michele Kassa bought her home in 2006 with the intent to open a deaf foster home. She now cares for four teens and is licensed for up to six children. The deaf foster home is the only one in Southern California. (Although, there is a group home for deaf children who require a higher level of care in the South Bay area.)
“We were looking for someone that needed a bedroom set, and one of our volunteers suggested Michele. They started talking about what our ministry does, and we decided to take on Michele's home as our first project,” said Leslie Bunney, the Rock Church’s Home Interiors Makeover Ministry leader.
Michele leads the Deaf Ministry at the Rock Church, volunteers with Miles Ahead’s Do Something World project, directs Toys for Joy, runs her foster home and manages a full-time job.
“She does so many things and still has time for us,” said Stephanie, one of her daughters about Michele, calling her “super mom.”
Stephanie’s sister, Denisse, shared similar thoughts.
“As some people say at the church, she’s a hero,” said Denisse. “Caring, loving, thoughtful, and helpful. There are so many words to describe her, but that’s just a few.”
Michele was named the first Rock Hero in December 2008 and was named Foster Parent of the Year in 2007 by the County of San Diego.
“She does a whole lot of ministries, volunteer work to help other people. So we just wanted to give her a gift and help her out, because she does so much for other people,” said Leslie.
The Home Interiors Makeover Ministry, HIM, does makeover projects (room or house) for underprivileged military and single parent families. The ministry is made up of designers, organizers, cleaners, sewing professionals, fundraisers, painters and 18 other groups. They are responsible for attaining their own funds. This was their first project, and they hope to do three a year.
“I didn’t know it was going to look like this,” said Lisa Walker, a good friend of Michele, as she witnessed the wonderful color schemes, themes, and creative elements that the interior designers and teams were able to apply to each room.
With a budget of $10,000, HIM remodeled four bedrooms, three bathrooms, the living room, the dinning room, and the kitchen. The planning started in May. The organizing team met with Michele a few times to help prepare everything. But all the work on the home started on Thursday at 3PM and finished on Sunday at 3PM.
Some of Michele’s family were able to witness the transformation.
“As her family we’re all grateful for the sacrifice this ministry has made for this home and this family,” said Michele’s cousin.
Denisse and Stephanie, sisters, who share a room on the second floor, were really pleased with the transformation, which included the bunk beds they desired.
“I’m so grateful. They put a lot of work into [our room] and they were very thoughtful,” said Stephanie. “I love it more than before!”
Her sister, Denisse was just as excited.
“Wow! It’s awesome!” said Denisse.
Leslie Bunney, who had been planning the project since May and worked from the first minute till the very last, was very pleased to see their reactions.
“We are thrilled that they are so happy with everything that we did, because we were really concerned about that. We just wanted to meet every one of their needs. I think we nailed it,” said Leslie.
For Michele the outcome brought tears of joy.
“I think I’m still taking the whole house in. There’s just something special to think about in every single room. They’ve done something special for each of the kids that really matches who they are and what they’re passions are,” said Michele.
Over the four days, there were more than 50 volunteers that worked on the project, more than 600 hours of service during the four days and over 1680 in the last 2 months. Frazee Paint, Real Deal Furniture, I.C.O.N., and Home Interiors Custom Upholstery donated some of their products for this project.
“I know all the hard work they’ve been putting into it. They put so many hours and so much commitment going from store to store, looking for just the perfect things. They’ve just done a really amazing job,” said Michele. “I’m so excited to see this be the launch of their ministry and the opportunities they get to do next.”
More Information on the Home Interiors Makeover Ministry:
If anyone is interested in volunteering with the HIM makeover ministry, please send an email to: [email protected] and check out their website!