The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 13, 2013

Hearts and Hammers seeking home repair projects, volunteers

From staff reports
news@joplinglobe.com

JOPLIN, Mo. — A group that does home maintenance projects for the elderly and disabled is looking for volunteers — and projects — for a work day scheduled for Sept. 28.

Hearts and Hammers of Joplin was organized in 2003 and in every year but one has painted homes, cleaned yards and completed other repairs for those unable to do the work, such as the elderly, the physically disabled and single mothers.

“We didn’t have a work day in 2011 because that was right after Extreme Homemaker (in the wake of the Joplin tornado) and everyone was just worn out. That was the only year we backed off,” said John Clayton, president of the group’s board of directors.

Last year, over 200 volunteers made improvements at 25 homes in Joplin, Webb City and Carthage.

This year, the group will combine its efforts with Joplin’s Habitat for Humanity, which is starting a similar program called A Brush of Kindness, and College Heights Christian Church, which will hold its annual Great Day of Service on Sept. 29.

“This will bring all those groups together,” Clayton said.

He said the group is looking for projects in Joplin and the surrounding area where residents need help with chores such as painting, yard cleaning, raking and tree trimming. Residents can request the help by calling Hearts and Hammers at 417-621-1719.

“That way, we can get the projects lined up in advance,” he said. “And if people want house painting, that will give them time to buy the paint so they can get the color they want. Then we’ll take care of the labor and equipment.”

Except for the skipped work day in 2011, Clayton said, the Joplin tornado has not had a significant impact on the organization. Even with home rebuilding going on the tornado zone, there have been other areas where repair work was needed.



Volunteering

Residents interested in volunteering may contact the group at 417- 621-1719. The work day will begin at 8 a.m. with a pep rally at Landreth Park.