Good Samaritans repair damaged kitchen for grieving Mechanicsville woman

Updated: Nov. 7, 2019 at 7:11 PM EST
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MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (WWBT) - A disabled Mechanicsville woman is moving forward after her husband’s tragic death with some help from some Good Samaritans.

Two months ago, Alfred and Dorothy Branch were dealing with a water leak that decimated their kitchen, and homeowner’s insurance would not pay to rebuild it.

Alfred called 12 for help, but sadly he did not get to see this brand-new kitchen redone by compassionate strangers at no cost to Dorothy. The big project involved the owners of several businesses that donated materials and labor.

Off and on, over several weeks, different crews worked in Dorothy’s kitchen using their skills to make it functional and attractive again.

“I am so blessed, and I do thank you,” she said.

A subtle undetected water leak wrecked it, and State Farm would not cover the damage.

The Branches paid to replace the broken pipe but lived for weeks seeing the earth where a floor should be.

“When he said he was going to call Diane, I said, ‘why is he going to call the television station?’ So, one day I came home, and he said, ‘I called Diane. I said you did?’ Ha Ha.”

The non-profit organization Project Homes brought in Condor Construction & Development and installed a new sub-floor that’s solid and safe to walk on.

Old kitchen cabinets moved out and new ones filling the space was the sound of progress. Sadly, Alfred committed suicide before the work began.

“He’s probably saying, “why didn’t I wait?'” said Dorothy. "'Why didn’t I wait, wait just a little while longer.' I am so sorry that he’s not here to see it.”

Each contractor embraced Dorothy with empathy and compassion after the heartbreaking tragedy and stuck with the job.

“I’m a very kindhearted man and there was no way that I could say no. It was not in my mind, body, or spirit. I was on board before I even hung up the phone with Diane,” said cabinet installer Derik Wommack.

Derik contacted someone he knows at Better Kitchens and Baths about donating cabinets. They say Dorothy should enjoy her Saginaw honey finished cabinets for many years.

“We feel very blessed and honored to have this opportunity to do this and to give back to the community that has helped us grow into the 30 years of business that we’ve enjoyed," said Dan Wines with Better Kitchens and Baths

Top Solutions, a countertop company in Petersburg, also donated and installed a countertop.

“I’m so amazed at it," said Dorothy. "It is a blessing. I’m telling you it is a blessing. I never thought I’d get back to this point.”

But, the sight and sound of running water in her kitchen top it all.

A Technician with PlumbRight Plumbing reconnected the garbage disposal, ice maker, all the water lines and the kitchen sink - all parts and labor were free.

“Karma. That’s the only real reason to help somebody else out," said Jeffrey Padgett of PlumbRight Plumbing. "This is a very large company that does a lot of business, and we’re certainly willing to give back a little bit.”

Dorothy’s kitchen had been out of service since July. She says it’s a relief to put away the microwave and do some real cooking on the stove.

“I am so glad because I never could have done it myself," said Dorothy. “Diane, I love you for helping us. Looking out for me.”

A special thanks to PlumbRight Plumbing Steve Meyer, Better Kitchens and Baths Roger James, Expert Cabinet Installer Derik Wommack, Top Solutions Billy Williamson, Condor Construction & Development, and Project Homes for helping NBC12 make this happen!

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