Sometimes you just need a good story. Yes, I cried.
DETROIT — Baking cookies never seemed as sweet for 101-year-old Texana Hollis as it did on Wednesday, when she tearfully was allowed back into the home her husband bought after World War II following her eviction seven months ago.
Foreclosure initially forced Hollis from the home where she’d spent six decades of her life, then federal officials wouldn’t let her move back in because of its dilapidated condition. That’s when Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom and his charity stepped in, and convinced volunteers and businesses to do the same.
Albom and his charities helped renovate Hollis’ house after buying it from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Albom spent $30,000 – much of it out of his own pocket – on the project, and more than 100 volunteers spent months putting in new flooring, drywall, appliances and even a portion of the roof.
“I promised Texana that all she has to do is just stay alive and give us another 101 years,” he said after pushing Hollis up a newly constructed wheelchair ramp and into the gleaming home. “She will never lose this house again.”