BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A local veteran received a once in a lifetime surprise, thanks to a group of students from across the country and a local church.

A Can-Can Make A Difference Feeding Program working with Adopt-A-Block and the Compassion Commission are renovating a house on North Patterson Park Ave.

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Deborah Tjitrajadi flew in from California to help and said, “It’s been just really impactful seeing how all these kids and youth are willing to serve the community here in Baltimore.”

This house will be given to a local veteran, free of charge.

“How many times can you say, hey, I got a house for free. How many times can you say, hey, you gave away a house for free,” said Daniel Epps, with A Can Can Make A Difference Feeding Program.

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Army Veteran, Gail Robinson, was surprised with the keys.

“If one veteran wins, we all win,” she says before finding out it was her lucky day.

Volunteer Siara Snyder says it’s the type of good news we need, “As you know, in Baltimore city there’s not always a lot of good, we hear about the bad a lot, so the moments there is joy, I think this is a very needed experience.

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Robinson is now a first time homeowner, in the city she grew up in. This is the 19th home Compassion Commission has given away.

Sean Streicher