Volunteers repaint home of Englewood senior

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The area outside the home of longtime Englewood resident Maribelle Brinkhoff’s home bustled with activity June 18 when Brothers Redevelopment Paint-A-Thon volunteers arrived to calk, paint and do minor repairs to her house.

The team of nine volunteers from software company Intuit placed canvas on the grass before unloading the paint and painting equipment. At the same time, some of the volunteers began caulking windows and preparing surfaces by scraping away loose paint so they could begin painting.

“Our company believes in community service and, through a program we call ‘We Care and We Give Back,’ each of us has 32 hours a year to take part in projects like this,” said Chila Morris, who headed the Intuit volunteers. “We have been part of the Paint-A-Thon project for the past several years. We have been doing that because this is a great project that helps a lot of needy people and we are pleased to be a part of it.”

Brinkhoff’s smile lit up the room as she talked about how much it meant to her to have volunteers caulk and paint her home near Jason Park as part of this year’s Brothers Redevelopment Paint-A-Thon.

“I moved into this house in 1960 when it was built. It was a bare as a billiard ball down here when we moved in, just a few houses and a lot of fields and open land,” the 81-year-old said.

“We have always taken pride in our home and in maintaining it,” Brinkhoff added. “However, in recent years, I have been unable to do the work and, since my daughter hurt her back, she isn’t able to do it either. That is why I was so excited when they called me and asked me if I would be OK with volunteers coming in to paint my house. I cried because I was so happy. What they are doing means everything in the world to me. It means we can continue to keep our home looking nice like we have since we moved in here.”

Cindy Steward, Brinkhoff’s daughter, now lives with her.

“Mom yelled and cried when they called us because she was so happy that Brothers was going to paint the house for us,” she said. “The house is important to us and it is important to us to keep it looking nice. But right now, we can’t do the work and we don’t have the money to have it done. That is why this Paint-A-Thon is truly a blessing to us and we thank everyone who is part of the project.”

The Paint-A-Thon has been an annual project for Denver-based Brothers Redevelopment since 1978. Each year, Brothers Redevelopment seeks the support of individual and corporate sponsors to provide money for supplies and, as they begin planning the individual projects, the company seeks teams of eight to 25 volunteers from organizations to do the work. Last year, 1,932 people volunteered more than 14,000 hours to paint 107 houses.

Brothers also seeks nominations for people who take pride in their homes but are no longer physically and financially able to tackle major projects like painting the house. The average Paint-A-Thon recipient is 74 years old and has a monthly income of about $1,400. Since the program was created in 1978, volunteers have painted more than 6,700 Colorado homes.

Originally, the project enlisted volunteers to paint 100 homes in one day. Starting in 2009, a March to September season was adopted for Paint-A-Thon.

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