AP NEWS

Angel’s Dream taking flight

February 15, 2019

More than a dozen men worked in and around a house on Eden Drive Thursday, putting the finishing touches on Angel’s Dream.

Remodeling has been underway since January, when The Sparkle Box Foundation closed on the property. It’s slated to be turned over Feb. 23 to Angel Johnson and her family.

“We’ve got about 150 people coming for the blessing of the house. Then we’ll hand her the keys and take a break,” said Harry Pierce, who established the Rome-based nonprofit with his wife, Terri Pierce.

The foundation is dedicated to helping local people in need of a hand up. In addition to small kindnesses, it chooses one big project a year — to make a difference in the life of someone who may be teetering on the edge.

Johnson, a part-time cleaner at the Floyd County Courthouse, weathered a series of major setbacks but never lost her smile or her work-ethic, according to officials at the courthouse.

Her teenage daughter, fiance and stepfather died. She found and comforted a friend as he lay dying of a heart attack. Then her car quit running while she

was taking her deaf son to the doctor — just a day after a driver plowed his car through the family’s home on Lavender Drive, leaving half of the structure unlivable.

“We knew Angel had to be our big project for the year,” Harry Pierce said.

County employees stepped up immediately to give the family a Christmas, and Jay Barksdale of Courtesy Ford Lincoln donated a car. The Pierces’ Sparkle Box volunteer network got to work on finding a home.

Pierce said Angel settled on the Eden Drive ranch, in a quiet subdivision with a big back yard. But he wasn’t completely satisfied.

“We gutted the thing and redid it,” he said Thursday as crews hooked up the dishwasher, washer and dryer in the kitchen boasting all-new countertops.

In the living room, Jonathan Clements and Levi Millsaps of Hearth-master were repairing the fireplace and chimney and installing a remote-controlled gas log. Flat-screen televisions — among the furniture that’s part of the gift — have already been hung on the walls. Outside, landscapers were removing old bushes and brush in preparation for new plantings.

“It doesn’t look like it right now but everything’s going to be ready,” Pierce said.

Angel will get the master bedroom with private bath. There also are bedrooms for her mother, Melvina Kinney, and her youngest son, Adaivun Johnson, who goes to Georgia School for the Deaf.

Her oldest son, Adam Anderson, was a Rome High football star who now plays for the University of Georgia. He’ll also have accommodations when he comes home for visits.

“We enclosed the garage and made it a bonus room. A football room,” Pierce said. “She has a big family and it will be a great space for them.”