BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – This is your company’s next team-building exercise.
Fort Madison Partners is again taking on homes for an April Paint-A-Thon in Fort Madison and Executive Director Tim Gobble said volunteers are the key to making the program a success.
“Last year we had about 40 people volunteer and we were able to do some minor repairs, caulking, and painting to spruce up two homes in the city,” he said. “The reaction of those homeowners was tear-filled, and they were very humbled by the efforts of everyone.”
Gobble said he hopes to expand on the program this year and in years going forward. This year’s event will take place from April 22 through April 27.
Homes that are owned and occupied by residents over the age of 60, that are single story or small 1 1/2 story, in need of paint and located within the city limits qualify for the program. Homeowners must have limited income and be unable to afford commercial painting, but show a desire to maintain the appearance of the home will be considered. Homeowners are applying to have the exteriors of their homes scraped and painted.
Paint is being supplied this year by Kempker’s True Value & Rental Inc., who is again, the Premiere Sponsor of the Paint-A-Thon.
“We’re looking at doing a minimum of two more homes this year and we would like to add a third. It just depends on the amount of people we get to help again.”
Gobble said other communities do Paint-A-Thon’s as well and the best format is to have teams working on each house throughout the week with a point person for each team.
“That we can have one point-of-contact for each team and scheduling and communication are much more efficient. We get all the prep work done during the week and then we all hit the homes on Saturday to get the painting done,” Gobble said.
“Teams of volunteers are needed from businesses, churches, schools, industry, social service, and civic groups, etc. We will need a “Team Leader” to be a contact that can then pass information along to their volunteers (teammates) and help prepare for the home selection process.”
Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age (with a signed parental consent form) and all volunteers will need to sign a waiver to participate.
The program begins with identifying homes from applications for the program. Community Action Network officials will qualify homes and inspect them and then volunteers are assigned to scrape, prime, and paint each house during the week. Team leaders coordinate schedules for each home.
Fort Madison Partners is also looking for sponsorships to offset the costs of brushes, drop clothes, water, etc. Partner sponsorships are $500 and Community Sponsorships are $250. Sponsors will be included in all marketing materials and on t-shirts made for the event.
For more information on how your group can be involved call the Partners’ office at 319-372-5471.
Applications for homeowners can be found at Kempker’s True Value & Rental, Inc.; Fort Madison Partners office, Community Action, United Way offices, the Fort Madison Public Library, and at the City Hall in Fort Madison.