Angels On Call helping Valley veteran

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

Asking for help isn't easy, but for one Valley man the help showed up at his doorstep.

John Walrath, 87, likes to collect things. But having a packed home for the last 20 years wasn't his biggest problem.

A collapsed ceiling and plumbing problems are just two issues the World War II veteran was facing.

“So for five years, we have embarked on an extreme makeover of a Valley resident that would be qualified for our program,” said Al Gonzales, Angels On Call project manager.

Walrath is the 2012 recipient of the Angels On Call extreme home makeover. A program affiliated with Stardust Building Supplies providing no-cost home repair services to those who qualify.

“John is one of the older generations that will not ask for help,” Gonzales said.

Gonzales said doing this kind of major renovation requires many businesses willing to donate their time.

“We really feel humble that we're able to help people and have so much community support that allows us to do these projects,” Karen Jayne said.

Jayne is the executive director of Stardust Nonprofit Building Supplies and Angels On Call.

“I know he [Walrath] knows it's going to make a difference, Jayne said.

“We started March 5,” Gonzales said. “We demolished the interior of the home. It was 16- to 18-hour shifts.“

It was hard work that was well worth the wait. A crowd of people gathered last Friday to see Walrath’s reaction when he saw his place for the first time in almost a month.

“Unbelievable,” Walrath said. “I thank God for the small treasures and the big treasures.”

“I could feel what he [Walrath] was experiencing and this is our fifth one, but this has more of an impact,” Gonzales said.

While the help found Walrath, he wants others to know that Angels On Call does change people's lives.

“This is showing them, ‘Hey there is a way,’” Walrath said. “There are people who will help you.”

For more information on Angels On Call, visit

See more of the renovations.

Angels On Call Extreme Home Makeover 2012 Donors/Volunteers:


City of Phoenix, Neighborhood Revitalization Program, Todd Hewett
Arizona Energy Management & Remodel, LLC, Carrie and Ken Pancost
Absolute Comfort, Lance and Frank Boyajian
The Home Depot Foundation, Sherry Caraway
Home Depot — East Bell Road, Renee Doyle
PODS, Hector Reyes

AZ Cabinet Solutions
Big Tin Shed
Melissa Audrain
Pro Tops, Inc.
PMP Remodeling LLC
REDDI Services
SOLLiD Cabinetry
Window World
Corner to Corner Home Inspections
Step One Sober Living
161st Honor Guard Team
A&G Materials
Allied Waste
Arizona Blinds
Arizona Humane Society
AZ SunWest Home Inspections
Bayada Nurses
Bridging AZ Furniture Bank
Bud Weir
CLW Plumbing
Cardinal Painting
Conner Michael Electric
Dunn Edwards
Dynamic Installations, Inc
Fat Freddy’s Catering
Hagen Daz Phoenix
Honey Bear Ribs
Horticultural Frontiers
Jacobs Journey
Jim’s Tree Services & Landscape
Joan of Arc Catholic Church
Joy of Life Church
MCC Fire Academy Class 12-1
Michelle Hines
NYS Huskies
New Journey
Nonprofit Org Resource Group
Phoenix Fire Department
Set Free Ministries
Sherwin Williams
Sheraton Hotel-Tempe
Sonny Pisiak
Spectrum Property Services
T and N Construction
Thunderbird Trophies