Sanding, scraping, calking, priming, painting, sleep and repeat. Our lives had been a non-stop cycle on repeat since
May with no end in sight. Until a last minute phone call just two days before the veterans day of caring.
It was Wednesday night and I was thankful for the downpour outside because I thought it would mean a night off for
my husband from the labors of fixing our dilapidated wood siding. No - he said, “I have to sand and scrap even in the
rain until this is done, we are running out of time before the snow comes”. My Husband is an Air Force veteran who
served in two tours in Iraq - operation Iraqi Freedom and operation New Dawn. He works a full time job, he works a
second part time job doing real estate photography, and then he spends his evenings and weekends working all of the
day light hours on our house. However, most importantly he manages to be a wonderful father and personal hero to
our 3-year-old son and 6-month-old daughter.
When the United way called and asked if we still needed work done at our house on Friday, they said there was a last
minute 20 or so volunteers that signed up and needed a house to work on. Volunteers that needed a house to work
on!? Oh, did I have a house for them! Yes! Please! Thank you! Thank you! I danced around the kitchen with my 3 year
old son Henry filled with excitement and overwhelming joy at the prospect of some much needed help.
On Friday, morning 15 people showed up ready to work. It was literally seconds and all volunteers were already hard
at work. I tried to protest and say I would go on the extension ladder, I didn’t want a volunteer to have to do that but
one women was insistent that she had experience on an extension ladder. Two other women hopped up on the
scaffolding and began brushing on the primer. Other volunteers dispersed to prime the garage. One Individual, Bob
from Harbor Hospice took charge. He was experienced in repairing and painting cedar siding and offered advice and
direction to all volunteers and me. My cheeks hurt from smiling all morning and my eyes clouded with tears from joy.
15 Volunteers blessed my family that day. They worked merrily along together, they continually asked what more
could they do for me. They learned about my family, that we had two young children, that we both work full time, and
that this daunting project had been in the works since May.
The morning flew by and what seemed like minutes was actually hours and just like that my entire garage was primed
and a good 75% of my house. So what does that equate to? 10 gallons of primer! Talk about a hard working crew.
What this team of volunteers accomplished in one morning of work my husband and I could not have completed in
the next month. I find myself still smiling every time I arrive home and see the impact on my house. We have only
lived in Muskegon for two years but it feels like we are finally home.”