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2/1/2014: Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Posted by in A Brush with Kindness, Riverside, Volunteers | Comments Off on 2/1/2014: Our Lady of Perpetual Help
2/1/2014: Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church members stepped up Saturday morning and did just that, helped! Our morning started off with a bit of confusion. There are numerous mobile home parks that Habitat for Humanity Riverside partners with and this location had another mobile home park directly across the street. As the morning setup continued and not a single volunteer was in sight we began to worry. It was not until a couple minutes had gone by that Dave, the project coordinator realized our volunteers must be at the wrong park! I jumped in the car and went to go find them; before I knew it I saw our group patiently waiting to help. After that small bump in the road we finally got everyone to the house. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church volunteers continued to have such a positive attitude and remained eager to work.

Homeowners Elfida and Rolanda came out beaming to meet the volunteers. Even though the couple only spoke Spanish, our group leader Anthony was up for the challenge and tried to communicate as best he could. The senior couple who are both retired and living in Mission Valley Village Mobile Home Park located in Riverside greeted us with open arms. Their home was lined with beautiful plants and decorative statues, you could easily see the excitement they felt knowing their home was about to be painted. The home was in need of some new paint, what was once aqua colored trim was now faded and dull from the years of sun, wind, and weathering. Seniors that apply to Habitat for Humanity Riverside’s A Brush with Kindness program are generally on a fixed income and have other urgent need besides painting their home; this senior couple was no different. They remained excited in hopes that their soon to be painted house would match their beautiful landscaping!

The group which was made up of three adults and three teenagers filled out their waivers and signed in. A morning prayer was said and safety guidelines were presented. We started painting with extension poles to get what we could first. It was nice not having to bring out the ladders and everyone painted what they could. Elfida and Rolando wanted to help too! They came out and were right there with the guys painting and enjoying the upbeat group. Anthony, T, and Hau: the adults in the group took care of the high trim of the home. Amanda, a Habitat intern almost painted the whole shed by herself. The teenage boys took care of the lower sections and the detail work on the railings and shutters. The Santa Ana winds started to kick up during the day so painting two sides of the high trim along the patio and drive had to be delayed for another day, just to be safe.

While the energetic church members were painting, the Church’s parish’s pastoral president came by to deliver a Vietnamese snack. They were delicious! Then Elfida kept asking all of us if we like tacos, I suppose she thought we worked up an appetite…and of course we said yes!

A little while later she disappeared into the home and then invited all of us to have tacos in appreciation for painting their home. We had been painting for almost 4 and ½ hours, we definitely worked up an appetite but we couldn’t leave our work unfinished. All of us were getting hungry but the motivation to finish painting kept us focused. Once the volunteers finished painting the home, we accepted  Elfida and Rolando invitation for chicken tacos with fresh homemade tortillas. It was their way of saying thank you and we all agreed it was the most delicious thank you.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help volunteers you did a wonderful thing on Saturday and it showed in your attitudes and work.  The smiles in the group says it all. Thank you!