Oct. 31, 2012
Some of our student-athletes recently spent time working alongside volunteers of the Hearts & Hammers program to paint the home of an elderly St. Paul couple, Frances and Mary. The mission of the Hearts and Hammers program is, “To provide exterior home improvement assistance for senior and disabled homeowners so that they may continue living independently. This is accomplished by organizing teams of volunteers and providing them with the necessary leadership, expertise, resources, and materials.” As a team our student-athletes and volunteers from the Hearts and Hammers program carried out this mission on the elderly couple’s home.
Our student-athletes arrived at the home around 8:00am to meet Hearts and Hammers volunteers. Together they spent 7 hours sprucing up the outside of the elderly couples’ cozy home; a home which has been a part of this St. Paul neighborhood for over 50 years. As a team our student-athletes carefully scraped, taped, and painted the couples’ home and garage. All of the hard work certainly paid off, “The garage and front of the house looked completely new after a couple hours of solid work painting it” according to one of the Hearts and Hammers volunteers.
As a team, our student- athletes in unison with Hearts and Hammers volunteers were able to fully paint the front of the home, window panes, screens, soffits, and garage of this St. Paul home, a job that although took a long time and much effort from the volunteers was well worth it. According to Nick Peterson the coordinator of volunteers for this Hearts and Hammers event, “The homeowner approached me at the end of the day and was absolutely thrilled that he was going to be able to say that he had U of MN student-athletes work on his house. He was impressed by their positive attitudes and dedication to the community. He asked me to say thank you again.”
Although it was hard work, it was no surprise that each student-athlete said they would do it all again because of the impact their time and efforts made on this elderly couples’ home, but more importantly the impact the event had on them as a whole. According to Kurt Schlangen form the Gopher Baseball team, “My favorite part of the event was the look on the gentleman's face when he saw all the work we had put in. You could see his eyes light up with appreciation. At this event I learned that there are many people out there that need help just like Frances and Mary; it was gratifying for me to give up a little bit of time on a Saturday morning to help them out.”
This Hearts and Hammers event allowed our student-athletes to use their athleticism and skills they have honed during their sports careers; through teamwork, determination, and hard work they were able to help restore the outside of Frances and Mary’s lovely St. Paul home. The Gophers look forward to working with the Hearts and Hammers program in the future to impact and give back to our community in a positive way. For more information on Hearts and Hammers and how you can volunteer please check out their website! http://www.heartsandhammers.org/AboutUs/Mission/tabid/83/Default.aspx
Reported by Caty Dongoske