JOPLIN, Mo. —
John Clayton, president of Joplin’s Hearts & Hammers of Southwest Missouri, hopes to have plenty of volunteers ready to get their hands dirty in early October.
On Saturday, Oct. 6, the organization will break into splinter groups to complete free repairs at 12 to 15 homes throughout Jasper County.
“We’d love to have around 200 volunteers,” Clayton said, though the group won’t know that exact number until everyone gathers on that October morning.
“We can do general home repair,” Clayton said. “We’ve got higher skilled labor, like Jason Mayberry (of Joplin’s Mayberry Construction), so we can use the resources and know-how of the general contractors, which is a good thing to have on board.”
Most of the jobs will be focused on the “big three — fix-ups, cleanups and paint-ups.”
“We have to stay in the parameters of what we can get done in a day’s time,” Clayton said. So jobs such as roof work usually aren’t tackled by the groups.
“If somebody calls and says they have a two-story roof” needing shingles taken off, “we’ll call Economic Security,” he said, referring to the Economic Security Corp.
Volunteers who are experts in plumbing issues, electrical issues, cabinetry and general carpentry are needed.
For many of the homeowners receiving the help that day, the repairs can make all the difference, Clayton said. Those homeowners usually are elderly, physically disabled, or living in single-parent or low-income families.
The mission of Hearts & Hammers is to enhance the well-being of the community by providing free home repair and maintenance for homeowners who cannot perform the work themselves because of physical or financial limitations.
The Hearts & Hammers projects cover the smallest of tasks such as raking leaves to larger jobs such as rebuilding floors. The primary focus is exterior repairs that typically include painting, caulking, ramp construction, siding replacement, window repair, gutter repair, landscaping, and other services that restore the character of the home and improve weatherproofing and security. The list of repairs is determined by what a group of volunteers can accomplish in one day.
Clayton said he has received requests from eight homeowners and is reviewing six other job requests.
“We are shooting for 15 homes,” he said.
HEARTS & HAMMERS of Southwest Missouri was founded in 2003. For information about the organization or to volunteer, people may go to the website at www.heartsandhammers-joplin.org or find the organization on Facebook.