On February 4th, approximately 20 volunteers from the Riverside East Rotary Club and the Riverside County Probation Department spent their Saturday morning performing minor landscaping work and painting at the home of Gloria, a retired nurse who helps care for her disabled son. She has lived in the neighborhood for over 20 years but no longer has the strength to make the repairs needed on her home. The volunteers from the Riverside East Rotary Club and Riverside County Probation Department were more than happy to spend a few hours to help Gloria paint the trim on her home, remove the weeds and unwanted vegetation growing in her backyard. After just a few short hours, the volunteers helped Gloria completely restore the color on the trim of her home and helped make her yard look as good as new.
The volunteers gathered early that morning armed with coffee and donuts and prepared to get their hands dirty for a few hours of hard work to help Gloria and her son. After a brief safety meeting, the volunteers finished their breakfast and immediately began working. Members from both groups worked together to organize the supplies they would need for the day and then split into separate teams to cover more ground. The volunteers worked diligently and finished by lunch time. Together they painted all of the trim around Gloria’s home and completely cleaned out the weeds and other pesky plants that plagued her backyard for some time.
Unable to perform difficult manual labor, Gloria and her son were thankful that Habitat for Humanity Riverside and the volunteers took time out of their Saturday mornings to help her. But the volunteers were just as happy as Gloria was to be there. Ken Guttierez, a volunteer from the Riverside East Rotary Club and former President of the Board of Habitat for Humanity Riverside said, “This was one of the best volunteer experiences I’ve had. There was a good spirit throughout the day…everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. And the best part, the look of joy and appreciation on the homeowner’s face at the end of the day. That alone made it all worthwhile.” When the volunteers had finished, Gloria walked around the outside of her home with the biggest smile on her face. She saw how much better her home looked and couldn’t help but smile, plus Gloria knew that Habitat for Humanity Riverside and volunteers from her community were there for her when she needed it.