Mary and Tom have been through so much together and found themselves in need of help.

By Executive Director, Deanne Everton

Mary and Tom

Mary and Tom purchased their Silicon Valley home in 1971 and at the time were thrilled with life’s prospects. After many happy years, life’s struggles presented themselves. Mary dealt with a layoff, difficulty finding a new full-time job, and a debilitating cancer diagnosis. Tom picked up night shifts at the local post office to try to make ends meet while simultaneously caring for Mary as she underwent treatment.

Determined not to let their circumstances overwhelm them, Mary and Tom became more insular and focused on the small joys that she could enjoy from the safety of her wheelchair — gardening, cooking, completing crossword puzzles, and caring for the friendly neighborhood cat. As Silicon Valley as we know it today took shape around them, managing their mounting expenses left them feeling overwhelmed. Slowly, their world became smaller, their options narrowed, and keeping up with their home’s repair needs became impossible to even consider.

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Eventually, neighbors began to check in on Mary and Tom and pieced together that their gas stove had been broken, leaving them unable to cook safely for quite some time. They also realized that Mary could no longer leave their home due to clutter and lack of access to her wheelchair. And as time had passed, their home had been overtaken by the sheer amount of plant overgrowth encompassing the home and yard. Through their neighbors’ eyes, it seemed Mary and Tom’s safe haven had become a serious safety risk, and they needed help, fast.

“I don’t know where we would be right now…this home is important to us, it gives us stability.”, is how Mary, a client of Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley, described the importance of her family’s safe place to call home.

Thankfully, a neighbor recommended Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley’s home repair program and Tom applied. Rebuilding Together installed a wheelchair ramp so that Mary could once again access the outside world. We repaired and restored their gas and stove so that Tom could once again cook hearty meals for the two of them. Volunteers worked tirelessly to free the exterior of the home from the years of overgrowth and gave them a fresh coat of paint. And most importantly, Rebuilding Together showed Mary and Tom that there is a community of support for neighbors in need here in Silicon Valley, and that they are not alone.

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Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley helps our neighbors in need stay safe in their homes. We improve the quality of life for the people we support and allow people to live freely and independently at home. And to do this, we need your help to:

  • Restore Independence: Your donation provides vital home modifications, such as installing grab bars, ramps, and wider doorways, to empower older adults and people with disabilities to live independently and confidently.
  • Make Homes Made: Your support ensures that families don’t have to endure inclement weather creeping in through old windows or a damaged roof. We’re here to make homes dry, warm, secure, and safe.
  • Honor Our Heroes: Servicemembers who’ve sacrificed for our nation should not have to face the added burden of an inaccessible home. Your contribution helps provide older veterans and veterans with disabilities the mobility solutions they deserve.

This giving season, will you join us in supporting families like Mary and Tom and donate towards Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley’s critical, home repair work?

If so, please visit to give a truly life-changing gift today. If you’d like to learn more about our work, please also visit  and see your impact firsthand.

Thank you for your generosity and compassion today and every day!

With heartfelt gratitude,
Deanne Everton
Executive Director, Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley

P.S. Did you know that you can create a legacy?

We welcome legacy gifts through wills and trusts, or as beneficiaries of life insurance. We’d be glad to discuss details and answer any questions. Please contact our Development Director, Alaina Purcell, at to discuss today.

At Rebuilding Together – Silicon Valley, we believe that everyone deserves to live in a safe and healthy home, so we help provide critical home repairs to over 600 clients per year, including to those who are aging in place. We rely on generous donations—like those on Giving Tuesday—to continue our essential work and the positive impact we have in these communities.

You can help us make a difference in these communities by getting involved or you can learn more information about what your donations help us accomplish by watching Mary and Tom’s story!

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