Real Estate

Something You Won’t Find Under a Christmas Tree – Paochoua Ethan Vang – Medium

Merry Kitchen Makeover: A Partners Holiday Giveaway

Image by HongKong Vang

We opened our doors nine months ago, but make no mistake; we have a combined 50+ years of Real Estate experience.

At Partners Realty, people are our priority — which is why we blew our socks off when we challenged ourselves to give away a kitchen remodel — at no cost!

We called it “Merry Kitchen Makeover: A Partners Holiday Giveaway.”

Yes, we were ambitious and the idea sounded impossible, but with a uniquely skilled and diverse group of Realtors, we believed otherwise, even if it meant we had to strap on the hard hats and park our day jobs on the side.

We saw an opportunity to give back to the community; one that has allowed us to keep our lights on. It served as a reminder for us, too, that the act of giving when you don’t have much — is the epitome of giving.

We had a massive turnout of applicants in our first year. Some entries made us smile, and some brought tears to our eyes. But after careful review, we chose the family whose needs required the most attention, which was no easy task.

The selected family demonstrated perseverance through tragedy and was no stranger to adversity.

Image by Hongkong Vang

Once we chose the family, we sat down and discussed how we could approach the design process, without stripping away the integrity and character of the home.

We took the conversations and feedback to the drawing board, and the challenge was on!

Demolition day came and of course, the antiquated kitchen didn’t stand a chance. Within two days the kitchen was completely obliterated.

Image by Hongkong Vang

The process was tedious and the labor was intensive — because it always is. We patched the imperfect walls and put up new cabinets. Fresh paint was applied and ceramic tiles were laid. Vinyl floors were stripped, and laminate floors were installed. Every step of the way, we handled every application with precision and care.

Two weeks later, after pouring our efforts day and night, a space that has sheltered the family for three generations was finished.

However, Partners Realty didn’t do this alone; it was a collective effort made possible by our donors; people like our friends, families, organizations, and strangers who share our convictions. Every dollar marched us down to the end, and we can’t tell you how thankful we are.

Image by Hongkong Vang

Fortunately, we had the support of licensed professionals and small companies who donated their services and materials, too — a gesture of their endorsement.

A kitchen is a place where empty stomachs meet; whether that’s homemade cooking, takeout, or instant noodles; food invites people together, where stories are shared and laughter is born.

The space didn’t need us. It wasn’t crying for help — even if it could because resilient people use what they have and do with it. Stories and conversations don’t start with us; we merely wanted to elevate the space and give it many more years of use.

Image by Laichee Yang

The house became our second home and with it, we inherited friends and shared stories you’d have to be there to believe. The friends we made were as young as five and wise like 70.

In hindsight, there were more convenient ways to give back, but we took a leap of confidence and challenged ourselves what it means to give.

We found joy, humility, and compassion in our pursuit, yet the project tested our patience and measured our commitment. Regardless, we’d do it again because we believe that all people and all walks of life — deserve a break — even if it comes in the form of a kitchen renovation.

Next year, I hope you’ll join us, too.

Thank you.

“The Unveiling” Image by Yia Thao (From left to right, Hongkong, Kou, Youa, Paochoua, and Laichee)

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