Bob is a good guy. He is a hard working man doing what he can to get by. A bone defect in his neck makes it tough to work but he does what he needs. He is also a certified auto mechanic and dreams of having his own shop on his property. We are helping Bob get back on his feet after a series of tragic events turned his life upside down. The picture here was taken in the fall of 2017 after we got some heaters donated so that he could shut himself in his bedroom at night and turn the heaters on to stay warm. This was a good night and the night that we realized that what God was doing in this man’s life needs to be told to other people. You cannot have a testimony without the testing. Do not judge someone because they appear to have given up. Most are fighting like crazy just to stay afloat. Are we as Christians doing enough to help the least of these around us? This is Bob’s story. We are just the narrator. Read below, share with your friends and donate. Let’s give Bob a hand up.
People are amazed to hear how we met Bob. We spend a lot of time on social media in the yard sale groups looking for people who are trying to sell books. Since we sell books, if we can strike a good deal and are pretty sure the books will sell, we will buy books to help stock our inventory. One day we were on one of the group pages and there was a simple post from a man named Robert that read:
"I need scrap metal to repair my roof. I have about $125."
We reached out to him and replied to his Facebook post and having gone through a few home renovations ourselves, we knew that $125 doesn't go far at all. He was jobless, getting food from the food pantry, and huddled in his run down mobile home which literally had field rats crawling up through the gaping holes in his floor to sleep in his bed for warmth. When we entered his home for the first time to see how we could help, there were rat cages on either side of his bed where he was attempting to catch and release the rats. The carpet throughout the home was deteriorated to the point there wasn't much left. The carpet that remained was mildewed from a leaky roof. It was so cold in his home.
After getting to know Bob, we discovered that it hadn't always been this way. A few years prior to meeting Bob, he had unexpectedly lost his wife after a surgery and then lost his job. One night a bad storm blew a huge tree limb onto the roof of his mobile home and it punched several holes which started the rapid deterioration of his home both inside and out.
The home was falling in around him. Something had to be done so we started making a list of what we needed to do just to get him into a safe living environment. We took pictures of the damage as well as measurements and inventoried what could be salvaged. The goal never has been to turn his home into a super fancy place. However, having the basic living quarters makes a man feel better about himself and regain his desire to thrive.
We began campaigning on GoFundMe and Facebook to help raise funds for our rehab project. It is not easy getting people to donate. If people could go in the home they would understand. It still breaks our hearts to do a site visit. We have a long way to go. Over the past 17 months we have had generous people step forward who wish to remain anonymous and they donated roofing services to seal his roof and dry his home in, repair the subfloor and Home Depot donated two heaters so he wouldn't freeze. At one point it was so cold in his home his toilets froze and one exploded due to ice.
Bob has a chronic neck condition and the good people at The Bed Store donated a comfortable bed. We had to destroy Bob's old bed due to rat feces in the mattress and springs. It would be great if a doctor could look at his neck and help get him on a treatment plan to ease the pain but without insurance, that is a long shot.
Last summer Smoky Mountain Outreach brought about 20 kids out to his home for a week to work on site and help out. They cleared the yard of all of the junk, brought in fill dirt, seeded and strawed the yard, laid a new gravel driveway, built two decks and gutted a lot of the drywall in the home that was either damaged or falling off the walls. Those kids gave up a week of their summer vacation to help him and he continues to be amazed at their humble generosity.
His home and yard are currently habitable but we have a long way to go. Bob is willing to jump in and do the labor but needs help getting the funds and supplies. Personally nothing would make us happier than for a bunch of skilled people to volunteer to help do the work. If you would like to volunteer, we are arranging and coordinating work crews and service techs. You can use the contact form above to reach out to us and let us know how you want to help.
This is hard for Bob. He is not one to ask others for help. It is amazing that we are friends because we are so different. Opposites really attract. A year and a half later, it's still a battle but we've come a long way. We need your help to get him to the finish line. Now keep in mind that we are not trying to give this man a complete HGTV home makeover. That would be nice but Bob simply desires to have a warm place to sleep during the winter and a place to get in out of the heat during the summer. Currently neither one of those are really an option. This is a chance for Christians to get off the sideline and stand in the gap with Books For Blessings as we continue to lift Bob and get him thriving. Please take a few minutes to continue to read about his story and his needs and how you can get involved today.
It's impossible for Bob to pay anyone back at this point. It's not a matter of him not wanting to, rather it's a matter of barely making enough to pay his bills. Although he is working he is earning just enough to keep going. This is where we can step in and make a difference as a community. We can either talk about Making America Great Again, or we can start doing it one person at a time. Bob is a fine place to start. He's not perfect and has made mistakes. But we have too. Matthew 25: 31-46 charges followers of Jesus Christ to help those in need. It's that simple If you are in a place to give - give generously.
Phase I of the renovation involved a lot of the heavy work, demolition, and construction. We would now like to start Phase II of the renovation which would include trim work and finishing. Needed Items and servivces include:
- HVAC repair - last technician took $500 and left without completing the job. He is in the wind and not returning phone calls.
- Duct inspection. At least 2 ducts had dog urine in them at one point.
- Vinyl blinds. His are so old they are falling apart. His windows and doors are horrible.
- Installing lenoleum flooring. The flooring is on site but it would be nice to have it professionally installed.
- Drywall finishing and paint.
- Under skirting to keep the wind and critters out from underneath his home. At least half of the home has no skirting.
- 9 square of shingles plus felt to dry in his shed for his tools.
- Help installing the remaining siding on his shed.
- 3 ceiling fans w/ lights (the old ones were removed last summer during renovation week and never replaced).
- Appliances (used)... his are not in the best of shape.
How to Get Involved and Help
There are multiple ways to help Bob. Since we are not yet a 501c3, we are paying proceeds out to Bob on a 1099-MISC. We are collecting the money and supplies to make sure that we can provide full reporting and transparency. As donors, you deserve to know how the money and gifts are being utilized.
Donate funds via GoFundMe.
Donate supplies: If you have extra building supplies, reach out to us. We can discuss and tell you where to deliver.
Donate Home Depot Gift Cards: This is a great way to safely provide assistance because there are things Bob needs that aren't even listed above. You can mail them to the address below.
Donate books in NEW condition: Never judge a book by its cover. Everything has value. We sell books in new condition online and can use the proceeds to help fund the next phase of Bob's home rehab. You may mail books to the address below. If you are local to Maryville/Alcoa, fill out our contact form and we can come by and pick them up!
Books For Blessings
ATTN Robert Kronz Fund
1846 SouthCliff Drive
Maryville TN 37803
Phase I Donations
This includes cash, services, materials and giftcards.
Phase II Donations
Cash & Giftcards
Materials & Services