Lifestyle & Human Interest

Home Depot Builds Therapy Board for Man with Dementia, Leaving His Wife in Tears


Whether you’re a seasoned do-it-yourselfer or just tentatively starting out with smaller projects, at some point in life you’re going to find yourself at The Home Depot.

During certain seasons you will find yourself at the home improvement store more than you imagined possible. No matter what your experience level or situation, there’s usually someone there with a bright orange apron and a name tag to help you track down what you’re looking for.

Sometimes the projects go beyond simple fixes or picking up some plants, and store employees do more than lead you to a specific aisle.

For one mother and son duo in Florida, that included constructing a lemonade stand. According to CBS, a family friend was struck with debilitating cancer, and so Dawn Redmond and her son Christian decided to sell lemonade to raise money for the struggling friend.

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Hoping Home Depot would approve of their charitable endeavors, they contacted a store to see if they could get a discount on supplies. The store agreed, and Redmond went to pick up the items.

Instead, what she met was a group of employees and a lemonade stand they’d handmade for her.

A Home Depot in Chandler, Arizona, also went the extra mile for one married couple. The Crafts were going through a new phase of life, learning to live with the dementia that husband Robert had been diagnosed with in 2014.

“Each stage you’ll find you’re hitting the ground running and you learn how to deal with it and you go ok we’re going good, and then the disease gets worse,” Jocelyn Craft told KNXV-TV.

Jocelyn said that her husband spent much of his life as a mechanic, so he was understandably drawn to tinkering and fixing things around the house — but now there were downsides, as the things he tries to fix can “break, and it’s expensive, and it can be dangerous.”

To help take the edge off his fidgeting and provide him with something to do, the occupational therapist who works with Robert suggested they get an activity board — something with locks and switches and other common, everyday objects that he could work with without causing any harm.

The only problem? Activity boards — often used for young children to develop their coordination and movement — available online were expensive. No worry, Jocelyn thought.

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“… I had this great brainstorm,” she said. “I’m going to build my own. I’m a geometry teacher; I can build a board!”

But after a stroll through Home Depot, she needed some help. A manager, Wendy, overheard her talking about her project, and stepped in.

“She started talking to her guys and goes ‘I think we can do something here,’ and she looked at me and goes ‘We’re gonna build the board for you, and we’ll call you when it’s done,'” Jocelyn said.

“I just started crying, and she goes ‘No, it’s nothing bad,’ and I said ‘You don’t realize these are tears of joy.'”

A few days of work and Robert had his brand-new, bespoke activity board — 100 percent free of charge. Wendy and another employee named Dan had created a small miracle for the couple.

“I would just say Wendy and Dan, thank you, as a caregiver who was struggling,” Craft said, “you came along just at a time when I needed someone, you made me feel cared for and loved.”

Christina Cornell, a representative of Home Depot, told Liftable, a section of The Western Journal, that the company was pleased with the two caring employees’ work.

“We’re extremely proud of our associates for living our values and going above and beyond to take care of the Craft family,” she said.

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