The following story appeared in this evening’s Warsaw (IN) Times-Union newspaper:
BY JENNIFER PERYAM, Times-Union Staff Writer
More than 200 volunteers worked Wednesday to make 22 residences in Kosciusko County more like home.
United Way teamed up with 145 Grace College students from the college’s department of character leadership and development, several committees and churches to participate in the second annual Community Day of Caring.
Volunteers spent the day at 22 homes throughout the county completing many projects such as replacing a shed roof, pulling weeds, painting kitchen cabinets and replacing windows.
Pat Coy, executive director of United Way of Kosciusko County, said the day was special for both the volunteers and homeowners.
“The day was a very rewarding and inspirational event for those who gave and the beneficiaries, and we look forward to next year,” Coy said.
The list of homes worked on included five in Claypool, three in Syracuse, eight in Warsaw, four in Winona Lake, one in Leesburg and one in Silver Lake.
Forms were distributed around the county for homeowners who needed tasks such as home repairs, painting, cleaning and yardwork completed.
White and blue posters were stationed outside each residence that said Day of Caring and volunteers wore blue shirts with the words “Team Work United Way.”
Volunteers wrote notes for the homeowners to read after the projects were completed.
One of the many homes that was worked on was the home of Marge Hansen, Winona Lake.
Hansen had broken her pelvis Tuesday after a fall and was in the Kosciusko Community Hospital Wednesday. Her son, Skip Hansen, was in town from Eldora, Iowa, and advised the volunteers the work that needed to be completed at his mother’s home.
There were six Grace College students at the home who spent the day pulling weeds, trimming bushes, raking and cleaning up trash.
“My mother likes everything to be kept nice and it’s a marvelous gift of service that these volunteers spent the day making her home look better,” Skip said.
Melody Malenovsky, a junior at Grace College, was one of the volunteers at Marge’s home. It was her second year for participating in the event.
“It’s great to be able to connect with our community and help those who aren’t able to complete projects around their homes,” Malenovsky said.
The Walnut Creek Home Repair Group also participated in the day.
Gene Butts, member of the group, helped volunteers paint kitchen cabinets on Second Street in Winona Lake for homeowner Glenn Goldsmith, Grace College baseball coach.
Butts is a retired elementary school teacher who taught for Warsaw Community Schools for 37 years. He also has painted for the past 57 years.
Butts said he enjoyed working with the students painting the cabinets.
“I have been a teacher and love painting so teaching the students painting techniques is right down my alley,” Butts said.
Other volunteers repaired window panes and put sheetrock on the ceiling of a bedroom.
Work also was completed at the home of Eugene and Connie Warrix in Claypool. Chore-Time Brock volunteers and Grace College students replaced an aging shed roof, swept grass and painted outside window trim.
Eugene suffers from heart problems and diabetes and said it has been hard to complete outside projects around his home.
“I think it is wonderful that projects are getting done that I have not been able to do because of my health problems,” Eugene said.
Volunteers removed tar, shingles and nails from the roof and replaced it with new shingles and a drip edge guard.
Kevin Judd, who has been employed by Chore-Time Brock for 8 years, was one of the volunteers who helped replace the roof. Chore-Time Brock employees were allowed the day off from work to participate in the event. There were 23 employees who volunteered at six homes throughout the county.
“The volunteers are like friends to the homeowners who are willing to help and the payment is through dedication,” Judd said.
Volunteers also worked at Retired Tigers, a retirement community in Warsaw, where Herbert and Phyllis Sundheimer live. Grace College students stripped the apartment’s kitchen floor linoleum. Phyllis had been in the hospital recovering from a heart attack and came home Sunday.
“Having this help couldn’t have come at a better time,” Phyllis said.
The day concluded with a reflection time at Winona Lake Amphitheater where volunteers and owners reflected on their experiences.
Supervising organizations included Walnut Creek Home Repair Ministry of Walnut Creek United Methodist Church in Warsaw, North Webster United Methodist Men’s Home Repair Ministry, United Way of Kosciusko County, Grace College Department of Character Leadership and Development, Greentree Environmental and Housing Opportunities, Kosciusko Community Senior Services and Chore-Time Brock.
Businesses who donated materials included Lowe’s, Harmon Glass, Carter Lumber and Warsaw Siding, Elliott’s Cars and Carts and Culligan Water of Warsaw.
Syracuse United Methodist Church was in charge of the food for volunteers.
Churches and organizations who supplied food included Claypool Lions Club, Claypool Methodist Church Good Neighbors, Christ’s Covenant Church of Winona Lake, The Salvation Army, Warsaw Community Church, Nazarene Church of Warsaw, Warsaw Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Winona Lake Free Methodist, Winona Lake Grace Brethren, St. Andrews Methodist of Syracuse, First Christian Church of Warsaw, Winona Lake Presbyterian, New Horizon Community Church of Winona Lake, and First Presbyterian Church of Winona Lake.