Make A Difference Day, Fall 2009: Lin Residence (Long Beach, CA)


  • Clear Backyard
  • Repair Plumbing
  • Paint House Exterior

The Story

Mrs. Lin has lived in her house (a wedding present) since the early 1950's. She raised a family there and cherishes the rich memories that still keep her company. Now in her seventies, Yula suffers from a variety of disabilities which have left her unable to keep up her home.

Deteriorating plumbing left Yula with a hefty bill she could not pay, and the City of Long Beach eventually turned off her service. She lived without running water for over a year. Recently, she received a citation for excessive debris in her backyard and faced additional fines. And the exterior of her house was badly in need of a fresh coat of paint.

Volunteers from Rebuilding Together and Cal State Long Beach’s Student Life and Development department, a program which cultivates a spirit of volunteerism in students, spent the early part of Make A Difference Day clearing the front and back yards of debris and overgrown shrubs. Then they went to work on repairing a broken main pipe and painting the house. "It’s about neighbors helping neighbors," said Diane Anglin, then President of Rebuilding Together Long Beach. The effort even spilled over into the surrounding area when a team of more than 100 Poly High students gathered to pick up debris, abandoned furniture and other items in nearby alleys.

Yula Lin was delighted with her newly rehabilitated house and her restored water service, saying "It’s awesome! You see this on television but you don’t think it happens to ordinary people."

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