Minnesota Plumbing Company Pays it Forward – One Bathroom at a Time

Family’s community outreach program one way of saying ‘thank you’ for outpouring of support
Minnesota Plumbing Company Pays it Forward – One Bathroom at a Time
Becky and Gary Josephson are this year's Pay it Forward recipients.

Interested in Business?

Get Business articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Business + Get Alerts

Note: This is the first of a three-part part series on T ‘N G Plumbing in Dexter, Minnesota, owners Todd and Gina Grundmeier and their Pay it Forward project — one family’s response to an outpouring of community support.

A Minnesota plumbing company is helping rebuild lives — one bathroom at a time. Since 2014, T ‘N G Plumbing of Dexter, Minnesota, about 100 miles south of Minneapolis, has been providing in-need families with remodeled bathrooms as a way to say “thank you” to the community for the kindness it showed when co-owners Todd and Gina Grundmeier lost their home and possessions to a house fire in November 2010.

“After that upheaval in our lives and the constant financial struggle we had for several years before that, sometimes even looking for change to buy a gallon of milk — often scrapping together just to make a house payment — I approached my husband about venturing out on his own,” she says. “At that point, he’d been in our community working as a plumber for nearly 20 years. He had an impeccable reputation and the customers loved him, so why not take the plunge?”

In 2014, the Austin Chamber of Commerce named T ‘N G Plumbing Business of the Year. That same year, Austin Daily Herald readers voted T ‘N G Plumbing the Best of Mower County in the plumbing category, and again in 2015. Gina was overwhelmed.

 “After the Best Plumber award, I thought the most appropriate thing was to reach out somehow and thank the community for holding us in such high regard,” Gina says. “That’s when I came up with the Pay it Forward Project.”

Becky Josephson is this year’s Pay it Forward recipient. She was nominated by her son Dustin and his wife, Megan. Becky has polycystic kidney disease and needs a transplant. High creatinine levels could mean dialysis until a donor is found. Since the disease is genetic, Dustin is not a match.

Becky, 57, also has metal rods in her back from a past auto accident. Her husband, Gary, is 62 and has debilitating arthritis. He was recently taken off work by his doctor because of limited hand function. He could lose his insurance and Becky’s medical bills are mounting.

The couple’s bathroom has a water leak in the vanity and behind the shower wall. A lack of venting has caused mold and mildew to form, damaging the floor, ceiling and walls. The couple is also in need of a water heater and water softener, which they will receive along with new flooring in the entryways that was destroyed by their 1-year-old pup.

“We will also look at re-carpeting the bedroom as Becky waits for dialysis,” Gina says. “She will need a very clean environment and the carpet is in need of replacement.”

Read the nomination:

                          ************************************************************

Pay it Forward 2016

My husband and I would like to nominate his parents Gary & Becky Josephson. Becky is going to need a kidney transplant due to having polycystic kidney disease. Her creatinine levels are high already and if they keep going up she will need to be put on dialysis until she can get a donor. My husband went and did testing to see if he could be a donor but it turned out he won’t be able to be one. She has also had her back broken twice due to being in a few car accidents, which led to having metal rods in her back. It has taken quite a toll on her, but she still pushes herself to do things that she probably shouldn’t. Gary was recently taken off work due to arthritis in his hands. It has left him not able to do very much due to pain. He also suffers from polio in his leg, from a doctor hitting his bone when he was being vaccinated while younger. He walks with a limp due to one leg being shorter than the other. Once Becky is able to get a donor and go through surgery, she won’t be able to be exposed to mold and the rotting floor. They already have quite the load of medical bills from everything that has happened between the both of them, especially with Gary being taken off work with the possibility of not being able to go back to work. He is the one who carries the insurance, and it will be even more expensive if he is not able to return to work. Unfortunately, it is not in their financials to be able to do the things that need to be done in order for Becky to be able to come back home once she has her kidney transplant. It would make both of them extremely thankful and happy if they were chosen for the Pay it Forward project. They are both always willing to help other people. Gary is always willing to lend a helping hand with anything he can, whether it is helping someone fix something with their vehicle or doing some maintenance work. They are both always there for their family members. They have very few family members left living and cherish any time they get to spend with them. They are grandparents to three grandchildren, two of whom were born within the last six months. It would be a better environment for the grandchildren to be present in their house if there was not mold in the house as well. Thank you for your time and consideration!

Megan & Dustin Josephson

                         ************************************************************

This is the third year for the bathroom makeover program that began in January with a call for entries. Nominees must submit photos, a short essay and meet project guidelines. Financial needs are also considered.

Entries are screened by volunteers who select five finalists and five runners-up. Nominees must live in Mower County. Homes must be owner-occupied — no rentals — and have a single bathroom. Nominees must show proof of home ownership and have a valid ID with photo.

View the call for entries video from KAAL TV in Austin:

 

Background checks, home inspections and interviews are completed before a winner is chosen.

This year’s project will begin at 7 a.m. Monday, March 7, and finish by 5 p.m. Friday, March 11 — no ifs, ands or buts. Gina estimates her company will have about 280 hours invested for the week.

From beginning to end, about 50 individuals and companies are involved in the project from electrical, flooring, tile and painting contractors to garbage removal. Hotels provide lodging during the one week the family is removed from their home; restaurants donate meals for the workers.

Companies such as Dakota Supply Group and Johnstone Supply & Don Stevens donate supplies; a local hardware store provides the odds and ends.

A granite company installs countertops and a mudder finishes the drywall. A furniture store donates décor and a cleaning company washes the windows. A graphics company makes yard signs and designs T-shirts, which volunteers wear throughout makeover week. A chiropractic office even offers massages. Wrapping it all up is an appreciation party donated by the local country club.

Join us tomorrow as we learn more about the Grundmeiers, their Pay it Forward program and the impact it made on a family that faced multiple cancers, lost a son to classmate bullying and a daughter to suicidal depression. 



Discussion

Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.