Custer Road United Methodist Church (CRUMC) volunteers came together on April 28 to help its neighbors in the Village Creek Neighborhood north of downtown Plano off Parker Road and east of Avenue K. 30 volunteers joined to work on two homes and to clean up trash in the streets of one of Plano’s older communities.
Home Improvement Projects: Over the last 5 1/2 years CRUMC volunteers have reached out to 34 homeowners who needed help getting their homes and yards up to City standards. It was no different this time with two home improvement projects located in East Plano. Each homeowner found themselves in need of assistance due to low incomes and/or age, which limits the amount of work they can do themselves. Our homeowners included an 83yr. old widow and a single mother working to support her family,
All the projects start with an experienced leader willing to help plan, interact with the home owner, coordinate the activities of the volunteers and then execute a project. CRUMC is fortunate to have several of those talented leaders within our church who are willing to reach out as Christians helping a neighbor such as Violet whose home was in dire need of a few repairs and painting. Bruce Fallis was the project manager on this home and was joined by 14 volunteers of CRUMC members and Plain O Helpers. The team repaired a gate and a section of fence, removed poison ivy and fixed a hole made by a squirrel in the soffit. There was a backyard storage shed that had been locked since the passing of Violet’s husband, so Bruce cut off the lock so that she could see what was in it. No gold or cash but some old yard equipment. As the team worked on her home Violet hovered over the crew and made sure everyone had plenty of ice tea or lemonade.
Violet was so grateful for the help, sharing that she was embarrassed about the condition of the outside of her home when the City sent her a letter asking her to make improvements. Her husband had taken such great care of the home and yard, but she was now restricted by age and resources to keep up. This was a great example for the team to understand this is all about helping a person, not just doing the work.
Tony Hairston and Chuck Hary teamed up to lead the other project, helping a single mom, Maria, make repairs and paint her home. Although Maria worked hard to support her two kids, she couldn’t put together the resources to fix damaged soffits penetrated by squirrels, and paint the house. Also, Maria shared with Chuck during the planning stage that when it rained hard she was getting water in her living room through the base of one wall. Chuck approached us about opening up that wall to see what was going on and if we could fix the problem. Generally, this is above what we would normally do on these type of projects, but we went ahead and took a chance that we could repair a growing problem she was experiencing. We were thankful we did because we found that all of the insulation was soaked and a large colony of ants had taking up their home in these damp conditions. It was a wonder there was not a major mold problem in the adjoining room of the house.
I believe with Tony’s and Chuck’s skills and the help of the Holy Spirit, we were able to save one side of Maria’s home from further expensive damage and possible use of rooms on that side do to health effecting issues caused by mold. The whole team of 12 volunteers pitched in to pick up the additional work to help a neighbor.
Neighborhood Cleanup: CRUMC provided 3 volunteers to help with the picking up of trash along the neighborhood streets. This activity goes a long way in helping the neighborhood to revitalize their pride in the area the live in. This is where the program name comes from – Love Where You Live!
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