As part of the Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful Project, Soldiers from the 42nd Military Police Brigade HHC and 170th MP Company work diligently to paint the home of a disabled man.
By Pfc. Amie J. McMillan, 42nd Military Police Brigade, Public Affairs
FORT LEWIS, WASHINGTON — The Steilacoom Kiwanis Club partnered with the Fort Lewis Community Connectors program on July 18 and 20 to participate in the Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful project.
The project organizes volunteers to paint the homes of low-income seniors and low-income disabled men and women throughout Tacoma and Pierce County. They are a program of Associated Ministries and co-sponsors include the Exchange Club of Tacoma, the cities of Lakewood and Tacoma, and Pierce County Housing Repairs Program.
Paint Tacoma-Pierce Beautiful Project benefits approximately 100 homes every year between July and August. Crews put together a work schedule for their volunteers and by the end of the summer, homes have fresh coats of paint, the community is enriched and everyone is smiling.
The application process begins in February and is advertised by public service announcements, flyers and through KBTC Public Television. In order for a person to qualify for help, they must own a home, only one parcel of property; be 60-years-old or older; be on social security or disability; and have low income.
There were several participants from the Steilacoom Kiwanis Club and a total of 31 soldiers from the 42nd Military Police Brigade 170th MP and HHC Company all ready and willing to lend a hand in painting the home.
The recipient of this particular project was Mike C. Hall who suffers from macular degeneration.
“When I was first contacted, I couldn’t believe it was real. I asked them what the catch was and they said there is no catch, we want to help you,” said Hall.
Dave Langford, Steilacoom Kiwanis Immediate Past President said he enjoyed painting with everyone to help Hall and that is why is continues to participate each year.
“You feel you’ve accomplished something, but you didn’t have to do it by yourself,” said Langford.
The homeowners enjoy the company of the volunteers and are grateful for the work that goes into their home.
“I think it’s great. It’s like a dream come true. I’m very thankful to be having my house painted,” said Hall.
Many volunteers come back every year because they have a wonderful time and enjoy helping out their community.
“I had a lot of fun doing something good for the community. Especially since the community supported us while we were in Iraq,” said Sgt. Audia A. Allen, soldier from the 42nd Military Police Brigade.
“I enjoyed going into the community with my fellow soldiers to contribute to a great cause. The way we worked as a team to paint a brighter community with open hearts and smiling faces was wonderful,” said Spc. Melissa C. Quilter, soldier from the 42nd Military Police Brigade.
Anyone can volunteer to help paint a home for an underprivileged community resident. Visit www.paintbeautiful.org to submit a volunteer application or to read more about getting involved.