Meet Ms. P – A Story of Resilience

Resilience. Mrs. P. hails from Sweet Home Alabama. She settled in Greenville after meeting her husband nearly 40 years ago. Shortly after moving into a home she didn’t much like, Mrs. P was determined to renovate it to her liking. Mrs. P is a self-taught handywoman and rewired the entire house, moved the porch, took down walls, re-did the exterior siding, and put up paneling. Pauline calls her home her “castle,’ because it means everything to her. It’s where she raised both of her children and shared fond memories with her late husband over the past 40 years. 

40 years in a home is a lot of memories, but one stands out among the rest. One year, during Christmastime, Mrs. P hosted a group of singers in her home. Coming from a family of musicians, this was not out of the ordinary. The singing group, including her husband, decided to do a round of caroling on the front porch. A little while into the signing, Mrs. P turned around and saw the entire neighborhood in her backyard sitting on quilts enjoying the performance. Mrs. P said seeing her entire community together brought her such joy.

But life brings bad with the good. After the passing of her husband, her daughter’s stroke, and the onset of her own health issues, Mrs. P is not able to take care of her home like she once was. The lack of a safe entrance into her home posed a serious hazard for both Mrs. P and her daughter, and Mrs. P could hardly get out of the house. 

Additionally, the carpet in Mrs. P’s main living area was “past cleaning,” and caused health issues for her asthmatic daughter. Mrs. P shared, “She was coughing constantly, like whooping cough. The doctor told us to get rid of anything fuzzy in the house.” Mrs. P knew what was needed to make her home healthy again, but she couldn’t safely make the changes herself. That’s where Rebuild Upstate’s caring volunteers came in. 

Clemson University’s Delta Sigma Pi answered the call and served their neighbor. The installation of a new deck, ramp, and stairs gave Mrs. P a resilient, “want to again” spirit. And after volunteers removed the decades-old carpet, Mrs. P’s daughter’s asthma has markedly improved. They even have plans to continue to de-fuzz their home. Pauline is incredibly grateful for the work of Clemson students, especially happy to see young people eager to do good in the world. Ever the hostess, Mrs. P loved having the opportunity to fellowship with and make dinner for the volunteers. She wants each individual to know how much their help means to her. 

Looking forward, Mrs. P is excited about hosting her family for the upcoming holidays, and hopefully getting to spend some time in the mountains and sweet home Alabama.


To support homeowners like Mrs. P, consider volunteering or donating.