Volunteer Time: Brush With Kindness

Many people volunteer throughout the year with various organizations. Recently I helped “Brush With Kindness”, a program under the umbrella of Habitat for Humanity. Within this program, homeowners apply for and can be selected. Work volunteers complete projects needing to be done outside an individual’s home. Installing gutters or fences or landscaping work are possible projects.

Work volunteers sign-up for shifts for days they wish to help. Mine was Saturday, 7:30am till 1:30pm. Our group of 20 volunteers were tasked with painting and installing rain gutters, and installing and staining a wooden fence. The previous day did have a volunteer group dig post holes for the future fence. They built many, approximately 6 foot, sections of fence for a total 147 feet of fence.

Our work time began. Four of us started painting rain gutters. The homeowner wanted them to match the color of the fascia board. We created a set-up to paint three sides of each gutter. When dry easily flip them and paint the other side … and put on a second coat where needed. Another group was on ladders painting fascia boards. The third group was installing fence sections.

Look at that sky!

And then it began to rain!

Within an hour and half of our start, it began to rain! In all my volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, there has never been rain. Actually monsoon season is when we really have rain here in Tucson, not now! Tarps with telescoping poles were quickly put up over our work areas. The gutters sticking out did get paint washed off and the paint we put on, certainly was not drying. 

Volunteers painting the fascia quit, as we did too, and we all helped with the fence installation. Some of us dug a trench for the fence. Others helped carry and hold fence sections in position as it was determined level and ready for screws. All of this happened while it rained. Fortunately the tarp with telescoping poles could be moved over those working on a section of fence. Everyone had muddy boots, wet clothing and were disappointed we could not accomplish the entire project. However, it was truly amazing all the work we had done!  

All kept working in the rain to get the fence up!

Volunteers will sign up for another time to finish the project. I know the homeowner will be thrilled when it is all done. Unfortunately, I will not see this project through to its finish due to other responsibilities. We all did appreciate the person who came by with hot coffee. I thought it was fantastic how we all worked together in miserable conditions and truly accomplished quite a bit!

If you are interested in volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, check out the website and find you local group. In Tucson, besides the home buyer/home building program and “Brush With Kindness”, there is “Habitat for Humanity’s Repair Corps Program”.  Thanks to generous funding from Home Depot, this program focuses on repairs being done for veterans within their home. Finally, you may also donate items to your local Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. Reusable household items and building materials are for sale at a fraction of the cost elsewhere. It also keeps many items out of the local landfill. Selling those items allows Habitat to buy appliances and items needed in the newly built Habitat home. All homes have new products installed. And new homeowners are taught how to care for and fix things in their home. 

Check out Habitat for Humanity for how you can help. Know they will teach you, on-site, how to paint, use a drill or do whatever skill you need help with. Truly wonderful people work for and volunteer with Habitat for Humanity wherever I have been volunteering. Don’t hesitate to volunteer here if you enjoy working with your hands and meeting other people with like interests.