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Serving Seniors With A Paintbrush And A Smile

Two “teams” of volunteer teenagers from the Sierra Service Project have been here for the past two weeks painting our house.

The Sierra Service Project is a Christian non-profit organization serving low-income residents in the area, and is supported by the Chukchansi and New Community United Methodist Church.

They recruit junior high school volunteers from all over California to assist seniors with free home improvement projects such as painting, repair, building, or whatever is needed. The project started years ago through the Methodist Church and has evolved over the years, but still has ties to the church.

IMG 0412We were getting ready to paint our 1,655 square foot house in North Fork, buying 10 gallons of premium paint at True Value in Oakhurst, when I saw an article in the local paper about the service project.

I called them and got a form to fill out, sent it in and next thing we knew, we got a phone call from Colin, one of the leaders, to inform us that the first “team” would be at our house the next morning ready to paint!

We didn’t know what to expect but a group of young teens showed up the next morning with two adult leaders and proceeded to start painting. Luckily the house didn’t need a lot of prep, mostly just getting any dirt and spider webs cleaned off. No paint flaking which made it much easier.

IMG 2633This group was a bit inexperienced in painting and needed a few tips, but were enthusiastic and willing to work hard. By the end of their “cycle” (Monday through Thursday) they had painted the two long sides of the house.

The next week, the team which consisted of older kids came in to finish up the two remaining walls.

My grandson Mitch was here visiting from Sacramento and wanted to do something for them, so he baked them a great strawberry/vanilla cake. Boy, did they like that! They told us they even made up and sang a song in honor of the cake at their evening meal back at Camp Oakhurst where all the teams were staying.

IMG 2636We were pleased and thankful to be chosen as one of their many “projects” and our house is looking great! A final team will come next week to finish up the detail work and paint the trim.

If you are interested in the project, you can contact Rev. Helen Mansfield, at the New Community United Methodist Church, 49223 Road 426, in Oakhurst.

For more details call 916.488.6441 or visit

One comment

  1. What a GREAT program. It gives seniors who don’t have the ability to do things they used to do without having to spend their retirement dollars. It also gives experience to young Americans who can develop work skills, but even more importantly they learn the value of giving to others.

    Thanks for reporting such good news.

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