Lidia Orduna lives in a Redwood City house she shares with her 19-year-old niece and 13-year-old nephew. The house originally belonged to her brother who also lived in the house. When he was diagnosed with cancer, Lidia quit her job and used most of her savings to help pay for his treatments. That’s when she searched the internet for a way to replace the fire alarms in the house, and she found Rebuilding Together Peninsula.
A volunteer team from Marvell Technology led by repair captains Bob and Jason Pereira helped repair the house, which also included building a chicken coop for the family’s six chickens. Among the many repairs, fixing the windows may have had the greatest impact as it not only helps keep the house warm, but it reduces energy expenses. The house is also safer now that new fire alarms have been installed. And repairing the kitchen sink eliminated a leak that was causing high water bills.
Sadly, Lidia’s brother, who previously worked as a scientist at Stanford Research Institute and was studying to be a nurse, lost his battle with cancer in October. Lidia was granted custody of his children, and she inherited the house, where she continues to live with her niece and nephew. Today, Lidia works as a music educator at Music for Minors, a local nonprofit, and also at her church. Lidia is still paying off a mortgage on the house, so money is tight.
Lidia says it’s not just a house to her. “It’s a piece of memory I’m fighting to preserve.”
“The repairs had a huge impact on our daily lives, mostly because the house is safer,” Lidia says. “Every day I wake up and breathe the fresh air in my yard. I still can’t believe all of the repairs were free. If I had to do this on my own, it would have been very expensive.”