Builders Care and Berchtold Builders provide gift of safety for Elderly Widow


Kathleen Smith is a self-sufficient strong-willed 89-year-old widow who has lived in her 960 sq. foot Fort Myers home since 1981. She lives alone and is on a very limited income, all of which goes toward basic living expenses.

Her beautiful stilt home in Fort Myers has a single staircase that running up the side of the home. Her steps were rotting through, multiple nails were exposed and detached and the side railings were extremely unsecure. Slowly but surely, the entire deck area was separating from the home. Safety was a real issue here, not to mention Kathleen is 89 years old and lives by herself.


Thanks to the help and expertise of Lee Berchtold and his team at Berchtold Builders, Builders Care was able to provide Kathleen with beautiful new decking and stairs and she can now safely enter and exit her home.



Kathleen could not find words to express how much this has changed her life. There were days when she would feel trapped in her home, fearing that she could not leave. What a relief to know that is not the case anymore for Kathleen Smith. Builders Care is grateful to be able to help this deserving homeowner. A Huge THANK YOU to Berchtold Builders for making this happen!

About Builders Care

Builders Care is the nonprofit charitable arm of the Lee Building Industry Association (Lee BIA). Its mission is to provide emergency home repairs and construction services to elderly, disabled and economically disadvantaged people who are unable to obtain home repairs through traditional means. To date, Lee BIA Builders Care has put more than $4.5 million in construction services back into the community at no cost to homeowners in need.  Builders Care enlists the volunteer services of Lee BIA members and leverages grants and donated materials to provide construction and remodeling services to qualified homeowners throughout Lee County. Builders Care is headquartered at 6835 International Center Blvd. Suite 4 in Fort Myers. The Lee Building Industry Association ( ) is a 64-year-old association affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders and Florida Home Builders Association that serves to strengthen our community by advancing a professional building industry through advocacy, education and services. Donations can be made online at, or to the Builders Care general fund at BB&T Page Field branch at 4959 South Cleveland Ave. in Fort Myers. More information is available by calling 239-938-0056. Follow Builders Care at or on Twitter @LeeBuildersCare.