The Botello family -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

The Botello family


“When your home looks good, it feels good,” said Antonio Botello.

Improving at home

When Antonio Botello dreams of improving his house, he envisions smooth siding, crisp white paint and a hunter green trim to match his garage. Last summer, he contacted St. Paul’s East Side Neighborhood Development Co., which donated 18 gallons of white paint. This summer, through Habitat’s A Brush with Kindness volunteers, he’ll have all the help he needs to finish the job.

Botello and his family have struggled to keep up with repairs on their home since a stroke left him paralyzed on his left side. Although they all pitch in where they can, between looking for new work and helping Botello with his physical therapy regimen, it’s difficult for the family to find the time and energy for expensive home maintenance.

Still, Botello has doubled his efforts to improve his home. “When your home looks good, it feels good,” he said, “and that shows what kind of person you are.”

From his time working in landscaping, Botello knows how to keep a neighborhood looking beautiful. “Now I want to make my own grass and house look nice too, but I need money and time to do the work,” he said.

By reaching out for assistance, Botello now has the resources to put his plans into action. “I’m low-income and disabled, but still I ask for things and they come true,” he said, smiling.

“I like to be in charge, to be doing what needs to be done,” he said. Weeks before Habitat volunteers would begin their work on his home, Botello was already out spreading fertilizer on his lawn, identifying problem areas and planning more projects.