CLEARFIELD -- While U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kevin Dilley is away serving his country, his wife Tyrena is home with their five children in a house with a malfunctioning heater, no air conditioning, no insulation in the walls, broken windows and a roof ready to flood the home in any rainfall.
You can help them with a click of your mouse.
The Dilleys don't complain or ask for favors, but other people would like to see them receive the much-needed help they deserve. The family was nominated by a Payson woman to receive $20,000 in home repairs by the Home Depot "Give a Gift of Good" contest; they win by getting the most votes on Facebook.
"We invited nine bloggers to join us in Atlanta and participate in a Team Depot project in celebration of Veterans Day," said Nicole Carriere, social media community manager for Home Depot. "The night before the project, we surprised them with the opportunity to Give the Gift of Good in their own communities by giving them each $500 gift cards to purchase holiday decorations for a local military family in need."
Carriere said the winning family gets up to $20,000 to fulfill their wish list of home improvements. That's where Stacy Risenmay of Payson got involved.
"I have a home decor blog and have partnered with Home Depot before on other projects," said Risenmay. "When they contacted me and invited me out to Atlanta, I jumped at the chance."
Risenmay posted the contest on her blog and asked people to nominate military families who could use some help.
"I spent hours and hours reading these stories. It was very emotional and every one of these families were so deserving," she said. "When I read about the Dilleys, I knew they were the ones I wanted to reach out to."
Risenmay traveled to Clearfield to meet the family and give them holiday decorations and the Home Depot gift card. Then she told them about the home repair contest.
"I was really surprised," said Tyrena Dilley. "I can't express how grateful I am. It's hard to put yourself out there and say, 'Vote for me' though, because I know there are other families out there who are struggling just as much if not more."
In a telephone interview from Greenland, Kevin Dilley said two of their children, ages 11 and 4, were born with spina bifida, a condition in which the backbone and spinal canal do not close before birth. Both girls have had multiple surgeries and are in wheelchairs. In addition, Dilley just returned to Greenland after coming home on emergency medical leave when another daughter was hospitalized with E coli for three weeks.
"If something goes wrong, it's always while I'm away. That's just the way it works, but my wife is a pretty amazing person," he said.
If the family wins, they will immediately replace the roof of the home built in 1949. They'll remove the carpet and install hardwood floors on the upper level so the girls can more easily move around in their wheelchairs. Insulation for the walls and a new heater, windows and an air conditioner are on the list.
"Finding someone reliable to fix old things is stressful while my husband is away, making this a much-needed blessing," said Tyrena. "Having less to do means more time for my family and less for my husband and I to have to worry about."
To vote, go to Facebook and type in "The Home Depot." On the left side, click on Gift of Good and cast your vote. You have until Dec. 9. The winner will be announced Dec. 14.