“We have about 100 people lined up for this week,” said Adwoa Asare, the community development manager for Habitat for Humanity of Orange County.
Asare is one of the managers responsible for A Brush with Kindness — a nationwide effort to transform neighborhoods by painting, providing minor exterior home repairs, landscaping and cleaning up yards in partnership with more than 130 low-income homeowners, many of whom are elderly or have a disability.
This national initiative to assist less privileged homeowners with homes in need of repair is more than just a quick tidy-up. The effort focuses on safety and comfort.
“Typical repairs include siding repair and replacement, painting, landscaping, and accessibility modifications such as handicap ramps, hand rails, storm doors, storm windows — generally things on the outside of the house that can help make it safer for the residents living within,” Asare said.
Asare said that it is mostly college students who come out and help, but volunteers can be as young as 14 years old.
“I would say close to 50 percent of our volunteers are UNC or UNC-related,” she said. “That’s because we partnered with the Jackson Center and [Good Neighbor Initiative] to do most of our volunteer recruitment.”
The weeklong service initiative is sponsored entirely by Habitat International, which granted Orange County, one of 40 affiliates to receive funding, $4,000 to cover costs of supplies and promotional material.
While A Brush with Kindness directly benefits residents in Northside neighborhood, the work being done this week is rewarding to the volunteers as well.