Minnesota Plumbing Company’s Charity Project Completes Another Successful Year

T ‘N G Plumbing gains a couple of national sponsors for the eighth year of its Pay It Forward program

Minnesota Plumbing Company’s Charity Project Completes Another Successful Year

(Photos courtesy of T 'N G Plumbing)

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One would think that after eight years, T ‘N G Plumbing of Dexter, Minnesota, had pretty much tapped out the ways it could evolve its Pay It Forward program. The annual project, a home renovation for a person in need undertaken by T ‘N G every spring accompanied by a slew of volunteers, runs like clockwork for the most part.

Still, it seems like each year, T ‘N G owners Todd and Gina Grundmeier are able to add at least one new element. For 2021, that was adding two national sponsors to the abundance of local support the Pay It Forward program has had over the years. 

“I was super excited,” says Gina Grundmeier about being able to bring in Delta Faucet and SupplyHouse.com as new sponsors in 2021.

Grundmeier says she first attempted to get some sponsorship support from Delta Faucet about five years ago, since Delta Faucet fixtures are what T ‘N G heavily uses on all of its installs. But she never had any luck, though she continued to tag Delta Faucet whenever she made social media posts about Pay It Forward. This year was different. Grundmeier got a response from Delta Faucet after making a post on LinkedIn.

“I shared a video from last year’s project on LinkedIn and just said, ‘Hey Delta Faucet, we only install your stuff. Wouldn’t it be a great philanthropic effort on your part to get involved.’ And it just kind of went from there. They just said send us a list, tell us what you need. They said they admired what we’re doing and were happy to get involved.”

The SupplyHouse.com sponsorship occurred after Grundmeier was asked to join a board meeting.

“They have them once a month and they ask companies to come in and give input on things we notice,” Grundmeier says. “I knew the owner was going to be in the meeting, so I asked the person heading the meeting if I could make a plug for my Pay It Forward project.”

The sales pitch was successful and SupplyHouse.com agreed to sponsor this year’s project as well, donating various materials for T ‘N G to complete everything it was tackling in the home.

The Burkey family
The Burkey family

In total, T ‘N G completed about $70,000 worth of work in the home of this year’s recipients, Tim and Kris Burkey. Kris’ sister Lori nominated the family. In August of 2020, Tim was diagnosed with ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). The renovation focused on making the home, particularly the bathroom, easier for Tim to use as the disease developed.

“The bathroom was about 6-by-7. When you walked in, the door would hit the clawfoot tub. As soon as we saw that, and knowing Tim’s circumstances, there was no question he needed our help,” Grundmeier says.

Using the space from a bedroom closet and a hallway storage area, T ‘N G was able to add another 3 feet to the bathroom. From there, T ‘N G took on anything in the home that would make things easier for Tim or his family as they cared for him.

“I even joined a support group for family members who care for people with ALS,” Grundmeier says. “I asked what we could do for him in the bathroom and the home in general. Anything we could do that would help him with his needs in the house.”

Before and after shots of the bathroom renovation
Before and after shots of the bathroom renovation

Fresh paint and new kitchen cabinets, flooring, furnace, air conditioning, water heater and water softener, plus countless other odds and ends. Like in past years, with the amount of donations and volunteer support the Pay It Forward program has accrued over the years, T ‘N G was able to touch just about every aspect of the home.

Sadly, Tim Burkey passed away sooner than expected on April 16, about a month after T ‘N G and its volunteer crews completed all the work in the house. After being diagnosed with ALS, he had initially been given a timeframe of two to five years left to live. Still, the goal of the project, Grundmeier says, had been to give him the ability to be in his home when he died and that was accomplished, even if it ended up being shorter than anticipated.

“Myself and our entire Pay It Forward crew want to offer our deepest sympathies and prayers to his family and friends at this time,” Grundmeier says. “Tim was a kind soul who emanated that kindness anytime we spoke. His passing will certainly leave a void in so many hearts. His family expressed their gratitude for the work we had done for Tim and were joyous that he did get to experience that community gift for just over a month. He was very joyful over the ability to be able to use the bathroom. I must add one more piece about my last conversation with Tim. I had purchased Tim an Amazon Alexa, as well as a Roomba, to give him the ability to help with housework as he always had. Tim chuckled when he would talk about running the Roomba just to torment Kris a bit. His attitude was a great example to all of us.”

Check out these other stories showcasing T ‘N G Plumbing’s previous Pay It Forward projects:

Plumbing Company’s Charitable Program Marks Its Seventh Year With $85,000 Project

Giving Back: Minnesota Plumbing Company’s Charitable Project Completes a Sixth Year

It Takes a Village: 20 Companies Come Together for Fifth Year of Plumbing Firm’s Charitable Renovation Project

Plumbing Company’s Charitable Project Grows in Fourth Year

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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