WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- Just before the holidays, a group of Winter Haven kids volunteered to remodel an elderly woman's home.
- Teens remodel elderly woman's home
- They put in new floors, cabinets and furniture
- Teens are part of a group called Faith Xtreme
They belong to an organization called Faith Xtreme, which takes kids from impoverished neighborhoods and helps them find their purpose in life.
Twelve-year-old Izaya Gainers spent much of Saturday morning tearing apart one of the bathrooms. He's volunteered to participate in honor of his mom who died two years ago. He said she always gave back.
"You'll get good deeds if you help people. It's honorable," Gainers said.
Now living with an aunt, he attends Faith Xtreme's after school program and bible study.
"Wednesday and Friday it keeps me from getting mad and stuff," Gainers said, explaining that family issues sometime upset him.
Kristi Martinez also finds refuge in Faith Xtreme.
"I feel the love. Because sometimes you feel like no one is there," Martinez said.
She's been a part of the program since she was 9. She said it has helped her find her purpose in life- teaching art and helping other kids. She's now 17.
"If I wasn't in FX, I probably would end up like my brothers, not really doing the right things, losing their way, getting in the wrong stuff, " Martinez said.
Program Director Sean Fielder said the kids come from the Inwood neighborhood, an area riddled with crime and poverty.
"They have plenty examples of people making bad decisions all around them. So you're trying to show them God has a purpose for your life," Fielder said. "To do good in your life and serve others and not always be taking from them."
The home they renovated was a historic bungalow in Lakeland's Dixieland neighborhood. Homeowner Pat Hedayat, 80, said it was in disrepair when they bought it, but her son could no longer help her fix it up.
The teens have been working on it since September with Fielder, who said he has experience remodeling homes. They outfitted it with new floors, furniture, a stove, cabinets, and a dishwasher with the help of Lowe's.
Hedayat said she'd been praying for two years for someone to fix her home. And they just showed up without her even asking for help.
"They have to be little angels from heaven," she said. "I don't know how else to describe it. If you saw this place before they walked in the door, it's like a whole different house. God has answered my prayers, honest to God."
Fielder said his group heard about her when they were assisting her granddaughter who lost everything in a house fire. The granddaughter wanted to stay with Hedayat but couldn't because of the home's condition.
Fielder said his organization is still fundraising so they can remodel the rest of the home.
To learn more about the project and others, visit faithextreme.org.