A Brush With Kindness

The Gundrum family

Susan and Kevin Gundrum have never seen themselves as different. After getting married in 1998, they bought their house in West Saint Paul and like most couples they balanced work, bills and home maintenance.

But Susan and Kevin aren’t like every homeowner; they are both deaf. They never saw this as a hindrance; instead they worked even harder to succeed. But when Kevin injured his arm and lost his job, paying bills and keeping up with home repairs became difficult.

For five years Susan continued to work at her job in Bloomington while Kevin vigorously looked for work. Eventually, Kevin signed up for baking courses hoping that would open up more job prospects, and in May 2007 he obtained a job at local bakery.

After only a few months of additional income, they received a complaint from the city requiring them to re-shingle and paint their garage and house. “My sister told me about Twin Cities Habitat for Humanities’ A Brush With Kindness program, and we requested an application,” Susan said. “We were thrilled when we found out they could help. We were surprised and relieved.”

Not long thereafter, A Brush With Kindness began working on their home; Affinity Plus, Star Choice Credit Union and Pepsi all had groups work at the Gundrum’s.

A Brush With Kindness exceeded their expectations, Susan said. “Habitat was there for us when we needed it. Now, we feel pride in our house and the way it looks.”

Contributed by Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.