Phoenix woman, 88, gets amazing gift

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by Carey Peña

azfamily.com

Posted on January 16, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 16 at 10:38 PM

PHOENIX -- Mercedes Neumann was overwhelmed when we visited her mobile home in Phoenix.

“It’s just been an unbelievable day," she said. "I’m still in a daze as to how this happened to me. I’m sure grateful.”

Neumann, 88, woke up this morning to find 30 people outside her house – painting.

She was in desperate need of an update. Her place had seen better days.

“I just got old and things I thought I could do, I just couldn’t,” she told us.

So, on this “Give Back Day” in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., employees from Allstate picked up paint brushes and got to work.

“We are all just helping each other out,” said volunteer Jaeho Lee. “There are so many people in need.”

As we walked down the street with Neumann, she told us her house used to be what she described as an “ugly, ugly sick looking green.” Now, it is a beautiful shade of cream with tan trim.

But this story is about more than just new paint. It’s about finding new perspective.

For Neumann, who turns 89 next week, it was tough to do after she lost her husband of nearly 70 years.

“He was the only one, the only boyfriend I ever had,” she said with emotion written all over her face. "When he died – I thought the world had ended.”

For months, she mourned. But then she thought of her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids.

“I realized I was a scrooge,” Neumann said. “I’ve changed my whole life again.”

She realized sometimes you do need a fresh coat of paint, and that there are good people out there to help you along the way.

 

 
 

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