Not cold, nor rain nor sleet will keep our die-hard volunteers from their volunteer duties! Well, maybe rain. Fortunately Saturday morning was really cold but dry after the winter storm that hit hard and fast on Friday. The day dawned bright and sunny so the Claremont McKenna College football coaches and players put down their books, put aside their practice and took up paint brushes and rollers to paint the exterior of the home belonging to Carmen and Salvador. While the day started out really, really cold (did I mention that it was COLD!) it was clear and promised to stay that way for the day. By the time everyone was ready to get busy it had warmed up enough for the group to get the prep work done. The plan was to work in the sheltered areas first giving the rest of the home time to warm up to accept the paint.
The homeowners live in Corona’s Countrywood Estates mobile home park and both are retired. Carmen is disabled and must have dialysis treatments weekly. Social Security is their sole income source and that doesn’t leave much at the end of the month for them to have their home painted. Actually, the home didn’t look too bad from the street and Salvador tried pretty hard to keep it up by touching up where he could but the paint wasn’t a very good match for the original color which didn’t really help the cause. In fact, it probably hurt the cosmetic appearance anyway. Since the home had not been painted in some years it was pretty faded, especially on the side of the home that gets hit hardest by the afternoon sun. Park management was requesting that they update the paint job.
Jenine took care of getting everyone signed in and Brandon helped with set up. After our group prayer, safety orientation and some quick painting 101 tips, the group was split into two teams taking on the patio and driveway sides which were covered and dry. The CMC squad of nine came ready to paint and Habitat’s Federal work study interns Brandon and Jenine joined the players to get into the work at hand.
Both teams did a lot of prep with blue tape and tarps to allow for the day to warm up a little more before beginning to paint. Once the prep was done, Coaches Kyle and Aaron took to the ladders along with Steve to take care of the high areas. The other players, Austin, Tyler, Pat, Will, Zack and James hit the lower areas. Brandon got busy on the front of the home while Jenine worked on the rear awning.
As the day continued to warm up and the siding absorbed some of the sun allowing it to warm up as well, the teams were able to move around to the front and rear of the rest of the home and also had time to paint the shed. Zack and Austin worked together on ladders to tackle the covered awnings and trim. The coaches took care of the high trim at the rear and both long sides of the home. Their detail work looked great. The CMC football group finished everything on the home except for the patio railings. We will come back in a few days with a couple of Habitat Riverside volunteers and take care of the final touches on the patio railings.
It’s not unusual for Habitat Riverside to have as many as 25 people to tackle a project like this but if the group is focused, even a group of 10 can complete one of these projects in about 4-5 hours. That was exactly what happened Saturday. In less than 5 hours, the home was completed. These guys were FOCUSED. It seems the discipline of an athlete just might carry over to other things in life.
Typically the homeowners join us on our paint days, either to help us out or to cheer on the volunteers if they are not physically able to work. Saturday, Carmen was in the hospital recovering from the flu and Salvador was by her side where he needed to be. Their daughter, Jenny made sure that we knew just how much it meant to Carmen and Salvador to have this problem taken care of for them. As Carmen returns home to continue her recovery, she’ll have one less thing to worry about thanks to the team from Claremont McKenna College.
You guys took an unusual project day and made it into an productive work day! Way to go.