‘I’m just beyond grateful,’ Staver family comes home to Pay It Forward remodel

Published 7:44 pm Friday, March 22, 2024

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It was a moment families have gone through before, but this time it was the Staver family’s turn.

Tim, Samantha and their daughter Bristel, after having spent the last week in a hotel, got their first look Friday at this year’s Pay It Forward project. It was a moment of anticipation for the family and the reveal didn’t disappoint.

“I can’t imagine the amount of work done in a short period of time,” he said after taking his first tour of the home. “It’s mind-boggling to me. I wouldn’t have accomplished that at all.”

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Staver’s story leading up to this year’s project goes back to a snowmobile accident in February of 2019. Injuries incurred from the accident included damage up and down his spine that left him with chronic back pain that he’s been dealing with ever since.

It has affected most every aspect of his life to the point where even showering was difficult to do comfortably, which was something this year’s project addressed by remodeling both of the two bathrooms in the home.

One of those now has a walk-in bathtub that should make it easier for Staver to bath in comfort.

“The bathrooms were primary because he needed them for his own comfort,” said Pay It Forward’s Gina Grundmeier. “As far as he likes to bath because of his back issues”

Work also included a remodeling of the family’s kitchen, addition of new appliances, dining room table and chairs, a new water heater and new water softener.

The Staver family took up hotel living on Sunday, March 17, and were more than ready to see what was waiting for them.

“Just ready to get that hotel trip over with, for sure,” Staver joked. “It was enjoyable, but definitely waiting for this day to happen.”

Along with waiting to see the new attributes of the house, was seeing those who were waiting for him at the home and its reveal.

“I’m just beyond grateful,” Staver said. “To see everyone here — it was great to see everyone in here and just see the smiles on their faces. I’m grateful all of these people are here.”

For Grundmeier and all those who take part in the project each year, the work itself is becoming old hat, but the reactions never get old.

It’s what makes each project unique and special in its own right.

“They are always special for, I just think, every family, every year and for different reasons,” she said. 

Grundmeier also said that this year’s project was special because of what Staver does in the community.

“I love what Tim does in the community as far as being a Toys for Tots coordinator,” she said, adding. “We were able to do a walk-in tub for him to bring him that comfort. I think it is the biggest item we’ve ever done.”

Just after it was announced that the Staver’s were this year’s project and before work had even begun, Staver himself said that being a part of Pay It Forward would be something he and his family would like to do in the future.

After seeing this year’s project come to an end, that sentiment hasn’t changed.

“Definitely. Even just doing the little things,” he said. “Donating time or even that Pizza Ranch trip. Get out there, sell some T-shirts and get the word out. Getting the word out is definitely key.”

And to see Samantha and Bristel’s reaction solidified that thought.

“Priceless. No words,” he said when looking back to their reaction of seeing the house. “You could just tell that they were shocked. Shocked and blessed and that meant a lot to me.”