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1/4/2014: ABWK through Sweat Equity

Posted by in A Brush with Kindness, Riverside | Comments Off on 1/4/2014: ABWK through Sweat Equity
1/4/2014: ABWK through Sweat Equity

Three future Habitat for Humanity Riverside homeowners and one very new homeowner with family and friends worked on a home of a Riverside couple this past Saturday on A Brush With Kindness project to fulfil their sweat equity. Sweat Equity is volunteer time required as part of the down payment towards the purchase of a Habitat home. Mary and Juan decided to make it a family affair and brought along their son and 2 daughters. Maria, Juan, Tony, Erik and Gabby all showed up with tons of energy and smiles ready to help. Denise who is a recent habitat home owner showed up and brought her friend Jenny along for the mornings paint festivities. We also had Rayna and Cherie who were 2 beginners that wanted to give up some of their Saturday morning helping beautify the community. These ladies signed up through Habitat Riverside’s website Volunteer Up!

The days focus was helping Hortencia and Santiago at Santiago Estates Mobile Home Park in Riverside. The family of five purchased their home and made improvements but could not afford to finish several major wall-and-trim issues that needed to be painted or replaced.  Earlier in the week Habitat Staff and several volunteers removed and replaced the water damaged areas and now all that was left was painting.  The paint colors were a mix of light grey and dark grey trim sections which is bit of a tone down from the old off white with pink trim. The new colors were definitely going to make a dramatic change to the home and instantly improve its curb appeal, which was the mission of this Habitat volunteer paint group.

The group was briefed by Dave the site supervisor and instructed to keep the noise level low due to Maria sleeping from working night shift as a housekeeper.  Once the paint event started it was evident that this group was serious about their duties because they carried out their duties with silent professionalism. The motivation of the volunteers was contagious and the excitement spilled into the home and Maria was compelled to come out and express her gratefulness to everyone.

These Habitat families displayed a commitment to excellence while sharing one of the most invaluable assets we have, time. They did this all with smiles and a high level of motivation.  It always makes for a productive and fun day when everyone asks “What can I do now or where do I go next?” All of the volunteers had great attitudes while painting Hortencia’s home.  In this park the homes are not raised and have no lower skirting. So almost everyone could stay on the ground and use extension poles when needed except for the high trim. Volunteers Juan, Tony and Erik all have construction or painting experience so they did the ladder work along with Lee, a Habitat for Humanity Riverside staff member funded through Community Action Partnership Veteran Employment Training Program.

The morning flew by as the volunteer teams finished their areas quickly and quietly.  Hortencia ordered pizzas and bought refreshments for the group when the project was completed. She asked if she could do this to say thank you to this awesome team of volunteers.  At first the volunteers were hesitant because the morning painting project was the prize for their acts of kindness; however, once Hortencia expressed her thanks to everyone, the group made short work of their gratitude lunch, and to end the morning a quick photo with everyone smiling.

Thank you Habitat families, friends and new volunteers, you all helped to start off the New Year right for Hortencia, Santiago and their family.