An afternoon phone call set the volunteers at Yolanda Horn’s home into a frantic rush.


Expecting her and her sons to return at midnight, they soon learned the family would return closer to 4 p.m.


“We’re just running around, throwing everything together,” said Danielle Spencer, de facto leader of the volunteers.


 An afternoon phone call set the volunteers at Yolanda Horn’s home into a frantic rush.

 

Expecting her and her sons to return at midnight, they soon learned the family would return closer to 4 p.m.

 

“We’re just running around, throwing everything together,” said Danielle Spencer, de facto leader of the volunteers.

 

Since Father’s Day, Spencer has organized an effort to complete renovations to the Horns’ home started by the late John Horn.

 

Horn died March 14, leaving behind wife Yolanda, six children and several renovation projects stopped in-progress.

 

Volunteers scrambled to put away tools and excess supplies, make last-minute additions and clean the home before the Horns arrived.

 

“They’re in Pauls Valley,” said one of the volunteers as he rushed outside to move his truck behind the home, out of sight from the road.

 

The minutes ticked by as photos were nailed to the wall, floors were swept and cameras were turned on.

 

Finally, Horn’s SUV pulled into the driveway.

 

“Oh my God ...” was all Horn could say as she stepped out of the car and was hugged by Spencer.

 

Horn’s jaw dropped as she walked into her home, escorted by Spencer as the volunteers looked on.

 

Wordlessly, she embraced Spencer and cried.

 

Wes, one of the three Horn children still living at home, plopped down in one of the new recliners donated to the family.

 

“Thanks everybody,” he said, reclining back in the chair for the first time. “I feel rich.”

 

Horn said when her husband died, the renovations fell from her list of priorities.

 

“At that point I didn’t even know if I’d ever finish it,” Horn said. “It went from being a home to me to just a house, and it became something to deal with.”

 

She said between working in Marietta and taking care of her kids, she didn’t have the time or the resources to finish the work herself.

 

Now that the work is done, Horn can focus on other projects, including roof repair and the installation of a storm cellar.

 

“This is what they do,” she said, referring to her friends. “God calls on us to be the hands and feet.”

 

Spencer said she is just happy to see a smile on her friend’s face again.

 

“That’s why I did it,” Spencer said. “She’s my friend, and I love her.”