Gardening & Outdoors
Military family comes home to dream backyard makeover
After the family experienced a devastating loss, a group of kind-hearted strangers wanted to bring them some joy.
Cherie Gozon
09.15.22

The Random Acts team did a surprise backyard makeover for the Holgrem family.

YouTube Screenshot - Random Acts
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Random Acts

They tapped different contractors and volunteers who were willing to give the family a backyard that the kids would enjoy. It turned out that many people loved this military family and wanted to help in the makeover process.

But why the Holmgren family?

Mindi Holmgren and her four children lost their husband and father in a devastating accident. Corey was well-loved by the community. He was a Captain in the Utah National Guard, and also a chaplain and family therapist, which allowed him to help families grow stronger.

Before Corey passed away, they were working on their dream backyard.

YouTube Screenshot - Random Acts
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Random Acts

They wanted it to be a sanctuary of peace and happiness. They started with the playset. But with Corey gone, their family project was left unfinished. It was too heartbreaking.

That’s why Random Acts and some kind neighbors came to the rescue.

YouTube Screenshot - Random Acts
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Random Acts

They waited for Mindi and her kids to leave so they could get the work done. Once it was go-time, the entire team went full force and started demolishing what needed to be taken down, moved things around, and divided the tasks among themselves.

The outcome was beautiful, and the Holmgren family was moved to tears.

YouTube Screenshot - Random Acts
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Random Acts

The first thing Mindi noticed was the repainted walls and new landscape. The team also fixed the irrigation and sprinkler system in their garden, along with adding new sod. But what she didn’t know as that there was a bigger surprise further in their backyard.

One big change there was the fence.

YouTube Screenshot - Random Acts
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Random Acts

The ones they had were wired and wooden ones that looked beaten and old. The men took them down and replaced them with a semi-privacy fence and custom gate. That way, they could still look out but still keep a quiet and private place.

But the one thing they were most stoked about was the playground.

YouTube Screenshot - Random Acts
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Random Acts

The kids couldn’t be any happier. The repainted play set looked brand new. The Random Acts team also added a swing hanging from a tree branch aside from the ones already on the play set. Skywalker Trampolines also donated a huge trampoline. Who doesn’t love trampolines?!

Further in the garden, Mindi was surprised to see the meditation area.

YouTube Screenshot - Random Acts
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Random Acts

She couldn’t help but cry for joy when she saw how serene and peaceful it was. Corey used to meditate and even told his kids its importance. The place meant so much to Mindi and the kids which showed how the Random Acts team considered the memory of their patriarch.

And here’s a bonus to that: a lovely mosaic of the family.

YouTube Screenshot - Random Acts
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Random Acts

A local artist heard of Corey’s story and volunteered to create this mosaic. He based it on a family photo taken before Corey passed away and before their youngest child was born. However, this artist recreated the photo in a way that it would show a complete family – with Corey and the baby.

The family was in tears with the surprise backyard makeover.

YouTube Screenshot - Random Acts
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Random Acts

It was what they imagined it to be. And even if Corey isn’t around to enjoy it anymore, they knew that was what he wanted for his family. Not only a place to enjoy but a place to meditate and reflect.

Press play below to see this surprise backyard makeover for yourself! But be warned, you might need a tissue.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Cherie Gozon
hi@sbly.com
Cherie Gozon is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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