After six full weeks @ the Emerson’s house (spring 2011) project is finished and Oliver (their 4 year old with cancer) is home from his bone marrow transplant. The entire project took 800+ volunteer hours. We coordinated 80 different volunteers over those weeks and completely remodeled their kitchen, stairway, Oliver’s room and the hallway (and did some work in the bathroom) to prepare a safe, clean place for Oliver to return. Businesses and individuals donated time, money, and materials to the project as well as many professionals: builders, electricians, plumber, painters, drywaller, and plasterer (most of whom are neighbors). An older handyman neighbor even volunteered the better part of each week working at the house!
This project was another great way that we united as a neighborhood but also as a broader community. From Hope College: our interns spent time working on this project and getting to know neighbors, the “local mission trip” team came and worked on the house for an afternoon, and many hours were given by current and former college staff and faculty. There were so many neighbors that came together to work on the project…many meeting for the first time because of their shared service. They did everything from demo, to hanging drywall, to painting, to baking fresh cinnamon rolls for the work crews. We were delighted to be a catalyst and coordinator of this great effort for a great family.
There were also 2 newspaper articles during the project that generated great conversation and exposure for 3sixty, the neighborhood, and the Emersons.