BY PCC STAFF
FORT MADISON – The annual Fort Madison Paint-A-Thon has been set for April 27-May 2, but the group is looking for homeowners now who would qualify for the volunteer rehab work.
The collaborative effort between Fort Madison Partners, Southeast Iowa Community Action Network and Kempker’s True Value and Rental Inc., is a large scale volunteer effort to help beautify Fort Madison, and lend a helping hand to those who can’t do for themselves.
“Now is the time we start seeking homeowners to fill out the application so we can make sure they fit within the guidelines outlined on the application and be postmarked by March 27th,” said Tim Gobble, Fort Madison Partners Executive Director.
Applications can be found at Kempker True Value & Rental, Inc, Fort Madison Partners, Community Action, United Way, Fort Madison Library, the FM Food Pantry and City of Fort Madison.
“Our goal will be three or four qualifying homes depending on volunteers”, Gobble said.
During the week of April 27th, teams will finish prep on the house and start painting as soon as prep work is complete.
The Paint-A-Thon is an event in which volunteer groups paint the owner-occupied homes of low-income individuals living within the city limits of Fort Madison. This event allows homeowners with financial and physical limitations to have their homes painted free of cost so they can use their income to cover other important costs, such as medication, groceries and utility bills.
Residents will apply to have the exterior of their homes painted, then volunteer groups from civic groups, churches and businesses lend a helping hand to paint, and local businesses and residents donate supplies.
To be eligible, the home and homeowner must meet the following requirements.
- The Home: Owner- occupied, single or small 1 ½ story in need of paint, located within the city limits of Fort Madison.
- The Homeowner: Individuals over the age of 60, or disabled, single parents or veterans, with limited income, unable to afford commercial paint job, showing a desire to maintain the appearance of the house. The home owner will be notified if selected by April 10th.
Volunteers will prep and paint homes the week of April 27th and complete any finishing touches on the home by the end of that week, using paint supplied by Kempker’s True Value and Rental, Inc.
The Paint-A-Thon is a major volunteer event, Gobble said. It takes 20 to 30 people per house with one volunteer leader. Volunteers will need to make themselves available at some point during the hours of 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. throughout the week. Volunteers must be 16 years old or older (parental/guardian signature on waiver required between the ages of 16-17) to be a part of a team, and willing to put in the work to get the house painted. Waivers will need to be signed by all volunteers.
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,” Gobble said.
“We will be looking for people who can crawl up ladders (if needed) and able to stand for long periods of time during this process. All are welcome to participate, but the team leader will be responsible for delegating the tasks to those team members.”
This project is great for anyone looking for an opportunity to help out others in the community. If your group is interested in volunteering, contact Fort Madison Partners via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 319-372-5471 by March 27th.
Once Community Action has qualified the house(s) and they have been inspected, a team of volunteers from the community will be assigned to scrape, prime and paint each house. Homes are painted throughout the week of April 27th with work times being set by the team leader. Team leaders will coordinate with their team and visit the home during the week of April 13-17th to evaluate the homes needs regarding prep work such as: debris removal, power washing, scraping of peeling paint, caulking and spot priming, etc.
Gobble said new this year will be the partnership with the FMHS Green Team, which will assist with yard work prep to make it easier for the teams to start the needed home prep without having to worry about landscaping issues hindering the prep time.
Fort Madison Partners is currently looking for sponsorships to offset the incidental costs of paint supplies, yard equipment, home prep needs, etc. as well as volunteer needs such as water, snacks, etc. These sponsorships will be promoted through volunteer t-shirts, media and social media outlets. Kempker’s True Value & Rental, Inc. has once again agreed to supply all the paint that is used and Community Action will help choose the houses to be painted and do small repairs if necessary. There are still a few sponsorship opportunities available and monetary or painting supplies donations will also be accepted.
This community beautification effort is a great way to help those qualifying candidates maintain their property, therefore helping local property values, increase energy efficiency, beautify the community and lend a helping hand to someone that may not be able to do it on their own.
For more information on how to get involved, please call the Partners office at 319-372-5471.