Saturday, June 20, 2009

A painter for a day

Amidst production support and warranty support activities, the Community Service day was something to look forward to but who would have anticipated the hoops that employees of *certain* companies had to go through to be a part of such an enriching activity! I did get though the hoops and later realized that I was the only one representing my company, good for me and it’s really a shame that no one else from my organization wanted to be a part of this!

Community Service day is a yearly event with a number of options/groups that one could register for including Habitat for Humanity, Horses for Healing, Youth Bridge. I had initially opted for the Food Bank of NWA which involved shelving and packaging of food but then as my luck would have it, they were overloaded with volunteers and I got a chance to move to the ‘Rebuilding Together’ team.

All I knew of the event was that we had to gather by 7:30 AM at a local lady’s house with specific instructions on what not to wear. The bottom-line wear something you are ready to discard! After completing the formalities of signing up, sticking up name tags on the front & back of our shirts (so that someone can holler out your name when you are about to fall off a ladder!) we were all set for a make-over. Our project was to rebuild Linda's house, a modest two bedroom house which had seen its fair share of wear and tear. The officials from Rebuilding Together explained the process of selection and eligibility criteria for such projects including low income, county boundaries etc.

The group was divided into two, one with the hammers for the exterior work and the rest with the brushes for the interior painting. I was generously drowned in sunscreen so thought I’d pick up the hammer but the paint brush seemed to be calling my name. I did think painting was a relatively easy job but changed my view after an enormous amount of taping, roller painting (this was the best part), intricate edge painting, ceiling painting (no fun when you have to stand on a ladder and paint right above your head!) and a little bit of exterior painting too.

The painters were mainly responsible for three rooms, walkways & some bit of exterior, two coats of paint later and it was a beautiful sight to see. The exterior group had a hard time mainly due to the sun and humid conditions; they did a brilliant job of siding, fixing up the windows, doors and replacing a bit of the roof too. Of course the amateurs could not be compared to Nate but the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures were proof of the phenomenal work we did.

The day ended with an after party to celebrate and learn about the accomplishments of all teams with food and games.

Yes, I did get paint all over me and in my hair. I ruined a pair of pants, shoes and shirt but I could not have been more content.

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