“We are just here to help out,” said Mike Perkins, with South Texas Children’s Home.
He, along with 14 youths from South Texas Children’s Home Ministries and Humble Area First Baptist Church, are working to repair a home in the 900 block of West Powell Street.
These groups had volunteered to help Brush with Kindness on their latest project — minor repairs to this old wooden home.
A Brush with Kindness is a sub-group of Habitat for Humanity.
Each project that A Brush with Kindness completes does have a materials cost that is passed on to the family, but the group makes it affordable.
Part of the cost can be covered by “sweat equity” that the recipient puts in on the project.
Nothing was stopping these young volunteers this week — not even the pouring rain and the lack of shelter.
This home was porch-poor, so most of the youths just took shelter as best they could when the showers came.
Ana Torres, from STCH Ministries, held a roller filled with white paint out of the rain.
Her hair indicated she was doing more than just holding it – the white streak was a clear sign she had been working.
“It is a nice way to reach out to people – people who could not do it on their own,” she said.
Rev. Clayton Elder, one of the original founders of the local benefit organization, was also taking shelter as the rain poured off the roof.
He was quick to return to work — caulking the windows — when the sky cleared.
“All of the applicants need so much more than this,” he said.
He pointed to the roof.
It needs replacing.
He turned his eyes towards the foundation.
It needs repair.
“A Brush with Kindness is entry level projects,” he said. “For most of these people, they are appreciative of the care we can give them, but they need so much more.”
That doesn’t mean these volunteers aren’t doing everything they can.
“Seeing the need, we are going above and beyond,” he said, pointing to the new boards being cut to fit around the home.
There’s an old saying – “Don’t waste good paint on rotten boards.”
In comes Tom Sowell – a man with a circular saw willing to get dirty and wet.
“We are replacing part of the trim around her house and the metal flashing,” Elder said as the rattle of the circular saw echoes in the background.
Everyone there said that projects like these are a chance for the public to offer help, because it takes no specialized skills.
“Anybody can swipe a paintbrush. Almost anybody can swing a hammer,” Elder said.
Weather is often their biggest problem.
It hasn’t rained in Beeville in so many days that many people joked it might never rain again.
That is, until Brush with Kindness plans a workday.
“It took us six months to fix the home of Mrs. Ignacia Farias,” Elder said. “Every time we scheduled her project, we had to reschedule because of rain.”
They did eventually get the work done, although it took a few weeks longer than they wanted.
They are determined to finish this project this week – the youths are only here through Friday, so work must continue.
Ashleigh Colby, with the Humble church, was taking a break Wednesday, sitting on one of the sawhorses in front of the home.
“Jesus is my inspiration,” she said, moving her wet hair out of her face. “We came out here to help people, because he first helped us.”
Elder almost beamed with pride as he looked at the young people hard at work.
“It goes to the good of the human race to reach out and help out one another,” he said.
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.