Not even heavy rain on Friday, March 24 could stop the Great Days of Service’s over 150 volunteers working throughout the Irving community to help restore homes.
Great Days of Service is a two-week event that entails cleaning up and restoring 29 homes. The event will conclude on April 2.
“The goal is to help these homeowners and make them feel better about themselves and improve their home,” Operations Coordinator Eddie Shaw said. “It’s really more than just the home. It’s about how they feel as an individual and how they feel better about themselves because their house is cleaner and their neighbors won’t look down on them as much. It’s about that self-esteem. That’s the real goal and benefit.
“More than helping someone is bringing faith organizations and non-faith organizations and participants together, because it’s people helping people. There may be differences in core philosophies and outskirts of philosophies and beliefs, but those differences tend to be minute.”
Great Days of Service has been around since 2002 helping those in the community in need once a year, around the Easter Holidays.
“We find out about the homeowners through neighbors, the churches that are involved, their members, relatives and the city code enforcement,” Chairman of Great Days of Service Andi Schellenberg said. “Different churches have been the host. This year’s host is Plymouth Park United Methodist. Some of the same people such as myself have been involved from the very beginning. We get to meet different home owners and volunteers that we wouldn’t know if we weren’t involved with this project. We work in different areas of the city. This year and in the past year, the zip code 75060 had the most homes that we served and repaired.”
The service program receives contributions from over 30 businesses with additional businesses providing discounts on supplies.
“A lot of the projects include the houses being painted and also some work being done inside,” Schellenberg said. “Some work will be done inside; however, a majority of the work will be done outside.
“Something new this year is that we provide smoke detectors and install them for the home owners. We give them information about fires and how to escape and what you do in case of a tornado.
“We are a faith-based organization. We believe that by helping people in need, we’re serving God and bringing hope, care, and blessing to the homeowners because we are called to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself,’” he said.