Neighbors Unite to Help Family With Autistic Child

Firefighters, Home Depot and neighbors replace rotting deck for Lake Zurich family.


Julie Parchment often noticed her neighbors Kelly and Larry Brodeur struggling to help their 10-year-old child Harrison, who has autism.

“I always wanted to help them, but wasn’t sure how. I noticed their deck was crumbling and Harrison loves to be outside. We thought maybe the neighborhood could get together and help rebuild their crumbling deck,” Parchment said.

Lake Zurich Home Depot helped realize the project with a $6,700 donation of materials, coordinated by Home Depot employee Michelle Lukowski.

Kelly got news that her neighbors were planning this project last spring and it couldn’t have come at a better time, she said.

“It was Good Friday. My husband was at the park with Harrison and I was home and all these ants were in the house because of the rotting deck. I was in tears about the deck. Larry called and Harrison had just had a seizure at the park,” Kelly said.

She continued, “I was wondering what to do about the ants and within 10 minutes Julie came over and said ‘We wanted to let you know we got a grant from Home Depot and we’re going to rebuild your deck.’”

“It was like a miracle. It was unbelievable,” Kelly said.

Volunteers started building the new deck this month with the help of numerous volunteers including Lake Zurich firefighters organized by neighbor and firefighter Mark Bajor.

Other organizations that helped included Peapod, Kelly’s employer, which donated food, Peace Lutheran Church as well as neighbors and friends.

“It snowballed into an awesome event,” Parchment said. “From people who donated little things to people who gave major donations. Kids are selling t-shirts and cupcakes for autism. The community is coming together to help a neighbor.”

Volunteers plan to unveil the deck next Saturday.

Contact Julie@coachsak@att.net to donate to this worthy cause.

Kelliann McArthur November 28, 2012 at 05:31 AM
Nick you are awesome!!!


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