Family’s house nearly finished after $50,000 gift from Secret Santa
DRIGGS — The foundation is poured, the rooms are framed, the plumbing is done and the Crow family is about two months away from having a home of their own.
It’s a dream that seemed impossible six months ago for Brad and Erica Crow. The couple and their two adopted children have been living in a camp trailer parked inside their shop since 2017. Brad fractured his leg while building the shop. During his recovery, he ended up with a staph infection that resulted in his leg having to be amputated.
The 38-year-old, who had already battled the bone cancer osteosarcoma as a teenager, was unable to work or begin construction on a home for his family.
An anonymous Secret Santa learned about the Crow family last November and asked the EastIdahoNews.com team to surprise them with funding to cover a year of health insurance and $50,000 toward building a house. Video of the surprise went viral, and the Crows have gone to work.
“It’s been super crazy, and we are beyond grateful,” Erica Crow says. “We started digging on the 28th of April, and we hope to be in by early to mid-August.”
Brad is doing a lot of the work himself, but local businesses have stepped up to help. Triple C Cabinets is giving the Crows cabinets, Standard Plumbing in Driggs provided the master bathroom tub and shower faucets without charge, and Red Mountain Builders donated around $10,000 worth of labor to frame the 1,150-square-foot home.
“I saw the Secret Santa video, and we wanted the Crows to use those funds to go to materials instead of labor. I took the whole crew up there, and in a day and a half, we got it framed up, dried in and put the house wrap on so all the other subs could come in and do their jobs,” says Stan Kearsley, owner of Red Mountain Builders.
The Crows say the $50,000 Secret Santa gift will pay for more than half the house. They used the money for excavation, lumber, concrete work and other building materials. Brad and their neighbor put their roof on Friday and installed windows Saturday. Insulation, sheetrock and siding are next on the list.
“When it first started we were like, ‘Is this real?’ Everything has just rolled so smoothly. No complications so far and that never happens with us,” Erica says. “At this point, where we are working on it daily, we’re super excited. The kids are ecstatic. They’re picking out paint colors for their rooms and are really excited to have their own rooms. It’s crazy.”
Erica says the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home isn’t “big and fancy, but perfect and exactly what we need.” Equally important to building the home, Erica explains, is the fact this project has given Brad purpose.
“When he got his leg amputated he told me many times, ‘I’m never going to be able to do the things I want to do.’ Doing this home is making him realize he can do anything he wants to do,” Erica says. “He gets worn out really easy and gets really tried, but he pushes himself. It’s boosted his morale to have something.”
The Crows look forward to having some space and say it doesn’t seem real that they will soon have a home of their own.
“We just want to say a huge thanks to everybody that has cared and helped us – especially the Secret Santa for getting us going. It has been great to have excitement and joy in life again,” Erica says.