Many young couples spend their summer camping, or kayaking, or relaxing or vacationing. But Kristin and Adam Polhemus did none of these things.
Instead, the married couple from Hamilton Township, New Jersey spent their summer fixing up the run-down house next door. The house belongs to an older woman who, for years, lived in social isolation.
Anne Glancey, a retired teacher who grew up in that house, couldn’t afford to erase her mounting code violations. If she didn’t make the necessary repairs to her property, she faced up to $3000 per day in fines.
Notoriously reclusive, Anne had no friends or family to help her.
The paint on her house was peeling off, her grass and shrubs were growing out of control, and a rusty old car sat abandoned on her lawn.
Anne was so worried, yet she didn’t know what to do — until, one day, she walked outside and saw Kristin and Adam doing the unthinkable…
Not only was Anne Glancey’s home unpleasant to look at, but it was also deteriorating. The town of Hamilton Township, New Jersey sent her a letter saying she needed to do three things or else she’d be fined $1000 per day, per violation.
Anne needed to scrape and paint her house, get rid of the rusted car on her property and cut the grass.
Anne, a retired teacher who grew up in that house, said she didn’t know what to do.
She was low on funds, and since she was socially reclusive and extremely private, she had no friends or family to help her.
Adam and Kristin Polhemus moved next door to Anne five years ago. They were the first and only neighbors to reach out to Anne and form a friendship.
The young couple learned of Anne’s predicament, but every time they discussed helping her with repairs, Anne would change the subject.
In the summer of 2016, Adam and Kristin decided they were going to help Anne erase her code violations, once and for all.
They enlisted friends, neighbors and volunteers who turned out in droves to help with the manual labor.
There was much work to be done — and it took every weekend throughout the entire summer to accomplish their goals.
Lo and behold, Anne began coming out of her shell.
Before, she would isolate herself inside her house every day — but now she was bringing her kindhearted helpers homemade carrot cake and fresh orange juice.
Over time, her house was scraped and painted. The grass was cut. And the old Plymouth sitting abandoned on the lawn was taken away.
Anne formed friendships with more and more of her neighbors.
Adam, a New Jersey state trooper, estimates that the work would have costed Anne $10,000 to $15,000 in professional services.
Hamilton Township officials have since erased all of Anne’s property violations.
“To see the joy on our neighbor’s face, I think the biggest thing is Anne’s happiness and her kind of restored life,” Adam told PEOPLE. “Her outgoingness to other neighbors is based on her house being improved.”
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