For the past 21 years, parishioners of St. Edward the Confessor Church have shared their time and talents assisting a local homeowner in need. This year’s project featured extensive repairs at the home of a Marine veteran and his wife in Danbury.
The work extensive required two weekends to complete. On the first weekend, 37 volunteers assembled to start the work. Forty-eight volunteers finished up the job on Saturday May 4.
Inside work included wall repair and painting of the entire house, a complete bathroom remodeling (new tub, tile installation, new vanity), installation of five new interior doors and a new front door, a new hot water heater, kitchen cabinet repair and installation of a new kitchen faucet, light fixture replacement, electrical outlet repair, insulation installation and general decluttering. The volunteers were kept busy outside with deck repair, chimney repair, walkway repair, shutter painting, assembly of an outdoor gazebo, installation of new storm doors, replacement of fencing along the property boundary and yard cleanup.
Participants ranged in age from 14 to 70+. House Captain Debbie Blum and Project Lead Doris McDermott kept everyone busy and motivated, and a team of helpers led by Marlene Drygas kept the volunteers fed and refreshed. At the end of a long day, the tired volunteers attended Mass and gathered with the residents for a potluck dinner in the church hall.
Some HomeFront veterans were asked why they kept coming back to help at HomeFront every year. Kim Morra answered “It’s serving the Lord by doing His work. It’s what He wants us to do”.
Rich Drygas commented “It’s an opportunity to give back to the community and fun to be able to do something like this. It helps the homeowner and helps build our church community”.
After the work was complete, the homeowner remarked. “We’re overwhelmed and thankful for all the help from the volunteers who are here. We’re just so grateful for what this organization is doing not just for us but for others”
The St. Edwards effort is coordinated by HomeFront, a community-based volunteer-driven program that keeps homeowners with financial hardships in their homes by providing substantial repairs. Since 1988, HomeFront volunteers have repaired 3,100 homes, injecting $54 million of assistance where it is needed most. More information on HomeFront can be found online at: www.homefrontprogram.org.
By Joe Simons