Heat Doesn’t Deter Good Works: Carpenter’s Project 2016

Despite an exceptionally hot, humid week, volunteers weren’t deterred from the Carpenter’s Project. Throughout the week, over 100 volunteers divided into 18 crews will work on an estimated 100 projects at 58 houses.

The Carpenter’s Project is a volunteer, community organization that provides external repairs to the houses of the elderly, disabled and others who are unable to perform the work themselves. Projects range from painting (the most predominant), to porch railings, demolition, concrete pouring and yard work. The Carpenter’s Project is formed by a collaboration of local churches. Equipment and food are all purchased from local businesses.

This year, 54 youth and 60 adults volunteered a week of summer to help those in need. On Monday and Tuesday, the crews visited 18 houses.

Because it is exceptionally hot, the committee is strongly encouraging water consumption. In the first 1.5 half days, crews went through 1,200 bottles of water and 60 7-pound bags of ice.

“I’m impressed that the kids are showing up on a 90 degree forecast on summer vocation,” committee chairman Connie MacDonald said. “It’s a good Christian spirit, and they learn new skills. Some have never held a paintbrush.” MacDonald has been involved in the project since the beginning 15 years ago.

The project has enough recognition to attract volunteers from out of the area. One student this year is from Titusville, having found out about the Carpenter’s Project from a relative in the Ellwood area.

Some of this year’s projects include rebuilding steps on a house in the West End, painting a house on Wayne Avenue and installing windows. One of the volunteers is a retired union glazier who rotates from site to site as needed.

Gary and Ellen Jackson have been involved for 10 years and this year are leading a paint crew of two students: Matt Fleck, a senior at Mohawk, and Maddie Barry, a junior at Lincoln.

“It’s a great community service for those in need,” Gary said. “The work is sometimes hard but the community sense is great.”

“The homeowners are always appreciative,” Ellen added.

In addition to those who perform the field work, the project also requires drivers and volunteers to prepare lunch and dinner every day for the workers. Lunch is provided at Calvin Presbyterian Church, the project’s headquarters. Each day, a different church hosts dinner. Today is a half day, and the crews will meet at Holy Redeemer for a special lunch.


Ellen and Gary Jackson work on a house on 209 Wayne Ave. with Maddie Barry and Matt Fleck. Photo by Jonathan Cortez/EllwoodCity.org.



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