Plumbing Company’s Charitable Project Grows in Fourth Year

Minnesota’s T ‘N G Plumbing teams with partners to put $55,000 of work into the home of a family of four as part of its annual Pay It Forward program
Plumbing Company’s Charitable Project Grows in Fourth Year
A major component of the upstairs bathroom remodel was to make it more easily accessible for Terra Gorman's son.

The Grundmeiers want to do more with their plumbing company’s annual Pay It Forward project, in which they tackle a bathroom renovation for a family in need.

To be clear what “more” means, this year’s Pay It Forward recipients received a new basement bathroom in addition to the remodeled one, as well as numerous other donations and services through project partners, including a new stove and a complete re-landscaping around the home’s exterior. The total estimated value of all the goodwill bestowed upon the 2017 Pay It Forward beneficiaries, Terra Gorman and her three children? About $55,000.

“Every year it’s grown as far as community support,” says Gina Grundmeier, who owns T ‘N G Plumbing in Dexter, Minnesota, with husband Todd. “We’ve had new companies donating items or services. This year we even had a landscaping company that joined. The community awareness is great. People definitely know what we’re doing and appreciate that it’s a good thing.”

This year marked the fourth year of the Pay It Forward project. Its origins go back to 2010 when the Grundmeiers lost their home and possessions to a fire. Despite that upheaval in their lives, they decided to start T ‘N G Plumbing the following year.

“We thought since we’re already starting over, maybe it was time for a change. It was a way of taking control of our path,” Gina says.

She conceived of Pay It Forward in 2014 — shortly after readers of an area newspaper voted T ‘N G the Best of Mower County in the plumbing category — as a way of giving back to the community that had supported the young company as it got started.

For the 2017 project, more than 100 nominations came in, and that was whittled down to 74 that met the project requirements.

“If there are two bathrooms in the home, it’s not a valid nomination. And there are several other factors, such as they have to be in good standing with the mortgage,” Gina says.

T ‘N G decided to make an exception on the two-bathroom rule when it selected Gorman’s family for the project.

As Gorman’s mother explained in a nomination letter:

(My daughter) bought her first home this past spring only to have frustration and devastation dropped on her family. Her 9-year-old son was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor. It is Ewing’s sarcoma and usually patients are amputee victims, but his lies in his pelvis. He finished chemo this fall and will go in every three months for scans to make sure that it remains dormant in the bone. She has one bathroom that isn’t even really accessible to my grandson and needs to be made safe for his use, but with his inability, one toilet isn’t enough for her and her three kids.

T ‘N G remodeled the home’s existing bathroom to better accommodate Gorman’s son, Jaxon, adding items like grab bars on the shower and an ADA toilet. On top of that, the company added a second full bathroom in the basement.

The project also always includes some additional touches to other areas of the home.

“I try to make it personal for everybody in the house,” Gina says. “For each of the family members, we redo a little bit in the bedrooms as well. We paint if it needs to be. We do new bedding and curtains. Especially this year’s project. We had three young children and they all had their favorite character, so I purchased all new bedding based on that and also went right down to garbage cans, laundry hampers and storage bins to kind of personalize it for them.”

The Gormans also received new kitchen flooring, tiling in the entryway, a furnace and air conditioning upgrade, and a new stove donated by the local Sears store.

T ‘N G and its Pay It Forward partners dedicated the week of March 20-24 to the project.

“In and out periodically throughout the house during the week there was close to 40 workers,” Gina says.

That included the entire T ‘N G crew.

T ‘N G will begin accepting nominations for the 2018 Pay It Forward project in January. It will be the project’s fifth year, and that’s where the “more” — despite how much the project already gives to a family in need — comes into play. Gina says she wants to not only give a family a bathroom renovation, but also a complete kitchen remodel.

“We do some work in the kitchen already, but if I can make it work — and obviously grants and donations are a huge part of that process — I’d like to completely redo the kitchen as well. Appliances, cupboards, countertops. I want to completely invade the kitchen like we do the bathroom.”

Read more about T ‘N G Plumbing in this full profile featured in the March issue of Plumber magazine.

And check out these stories about the other Pay It Forward projects the company has tackled:

Minnesota Plumbing Company Pays It Forward — One Bathroom at a Time

Minnesota Plumbing Company Helps Rebuild Lives

Minnesota Plumbing Company Reaches Out


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