Good Neighbors Come to the Rescue

Rockwall Neighbors Helping Neighbors
Rockwall neighbors helping a neighbor in need.

Sometimes a package delivered to the wrong address can be a good thing.

About two weeks ago, Windmill Ridge resident Joyce Barker opened her front door to find a package she hadn’t ordered. “It was addressed to Mr. Murray just down the street, “ she said, “so I called over to let him know he could pick it up. He said he’d love to but he couldn’t leave the side of his wife, who was terminally ill and needed constant care. So, I decided to bring it over to them.”

When Joyce arrived, she couldn’t believe what she found. “I could see inside. The house was in total disarray, the yard totally overgrown, and there was graffiti on the garage and on their car. Caring for his wife for 24 hours a day had left him too exhausted to take care of the house and yard. I knew right then I had to do something.”

With the help of neighbors Carolanne Keahey and Brent Pitcher, a coalition of businesses and individuals mobilized to help. Through social media posts and word of mouth, they organized a cleanup day on Saturday, Feb 2 which attracted over 30 people of all ages. Volunteers arrived from all over the area, not just Rockwall.

Murray Home Cleanup


Joyce Barker


Carolanne Keahey

Firehouse Roofing is repairing several leaks in the roof. All Aspects Property maintenance brought in dumpsters to haul out several loads of trash and brush, Action Pest Control Solutions along with a host of other local businesses donated their time and services to make the elderly couple’s home livable again. A more complete list of contributors appears below.

When she heard about the Murrays’ plight, Carolanne said, “I knew I had to help. These are our neighbors, and they have no one else. If this ever happened to me, I would hope to get this kind of response. This community really came alive over this.”

Even more surprising than the turnout was the speed at which it came together. In less than two weeks volunteers, food and contractors were lined up for cleanup day. In less than eight hours the yard had been cleared, the house cleaned up and graffiti removed.

Said Joyce, “I believe there’s a reason that package ended up on my doorstep by mistake. It was definitely the hand of God”

Joyce would like to personally thank the following for their help:

Chick Fil A for providing lunch for all the volunteers.
Maureen Cook of Meals on Wheels.
Johis Arlette Flores for window cleaning.
Tyler Goodwin of Reliable Auto Detailing.
Hands of Mercy of Lake Point Church and all of its volunteers.
Addison Hile of All Aspects Property Maintenance for providing his commercial dumpsters and hauling of junk vehicles.
Brandon Hile of All Aspects Disposal for all of his mad chainsaw skills.
Angelia Jusits of Maid services.
James Kinnard of Action Pest Solutions for extermination.
Mark Latham of Firehouse Roofing for repairing the roof.
Brent Pitcher of Brent Pitcher, LLC for helping with various and sundry tasks with regard to the home exterior.
Amber Ramirez of Petco for grooming the Murrays’ dogs.
Cindy Sabo of Home Depot for donating supplies for the home repairs and additionally offering some helping hands and volunteers.
Samee of Pizza Getti Italian Bistro & Lounge for paying the Murrays’ water bill & providing lunch for all the volunteers.
Christopher Shipley of Forney for rebuilding all the plumbing in one of the bathrooms which was nearly an impossible task – but not for Chris!
Darren Shue for grout and floor cleaning.
Michelle Tramell owner of Maid to Clean.
Shawn Trembley for fence repair work.
Rockwall Youth Advisory Council and all of its volunteers.

To all the individuals who volunteered their entire day, I would like to give a special thanks to the following:

Becky Airheart, Nick Alvarez, Nicholas Alvesson, Kendall Braddock, Mac and Dorothy Burriss, Becky and Beth Cloud, Jennifer De Los Santos, Misty and Chloe Farris, Michael Gantreau, Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Garcia, Mahmaud and Vashai Hassanizadeh, Ashes Hossner, Sydney Hossner, Julia Hossner, Brendon L., Rylee Lively, Debi Matteson, Emily Ramirez, Cindie Ray, Felicia Rene, Charlie Richardson, Frank Richardson, Mike Smith, Renee Smith, Debbie Sudduth, Tyler, Tracy and Tray, Tracy Tuttle, Lexie Vicars, Ron Wall, Ellie Wall and Emily Trudnak.

Special thanks to Carolanne Keahey for posting my Nextdoor Windmill Ridge request for volunteers on Rockwallian.

For all the people who donated supplies, a special thanks to:

Janice Allen Morchower for donating supplies, Charlene Volpert $25 Walmart gift card; Caitlin Palmer $150 pledge for supplies; Stephanie Davis Dog Food and Heather Todish for the dog beds and shampoo.

Continued thanks to the following for making the Murrays’ upcoming 58th wedding anniversary so very special:

Tricia Norman Brewer with Treasured Blossoms for providing anniversary flowers to the Murrays.

Tracey Treadway for the anniversary cake.

Nadia Fern Capehart for the anniversary dinner.

Story and Photos: Bob Lewis
Planet Rockwall