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Great grandmother gets a special gift

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After more than 30-years of keeping house for someone else, an elderly Tulsa woman is getting a home of her own.

Bought by her former employer and rebuilt by local church volunteers, the house is now all hers. News on 6 Heather Lewin was there for the dedication.

“I just can't put into words what it really means, cause it just means everything." It's a moment Christina Minielly has waited for her whole life. A housekeeper and gardener for 35 years, Minielly's former employer arranged a retirement gift for her, a home of her own.

Lois Bartlett bought the house, which needed a lot of work, then connected with Neighbor for Neighbor, a local charity that took over repairs.

They found the perfect people for the job, a group of Tulsa retirees who now specialize in restoring homes for those in need. Hugh Burleigh with All Souls Unitarian Church: "We usually get in these houses, they're unliveable, all kinds of structural problems and certainly paint and clean up problems."

This is the 30th house the group has done. It took volunteers about five months to turn warped walls and rotted floors new again. The outside work isn't finished, but Minielly now has the all clear to move in. "Indescribeable. From what it was to what it is now, it's beautiful."

Hugh Burleigh: "It's really exciting to see that somebody who needed us that we could get together and do something for 'em."

The porch is Christina's favorite part of her new home. It's where she'll sit and look out over what will be, for the first time, her very own garden. "I like the outside. Anything outside, like she said I was her gardner. I love working outside, I'd rather do that than the housework."

But now, at age 72, she's working for herself, at turning this house into a home. "The yard'll be full of children out there." 35 children actually, who all call her grandma.
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