One Elgin home received a makeover from Blaney Baptist youth and adults during the Elgin Construction Blitz last week.
The volunteers added a new roof, installed a waterline, built a deck with a wheelchair ramp, painted the house and worked on the landscaping.
The house belongs to Tammy Hornsby’s parents and she said they are thankful for the help.
“I appreciate it and I know my momma and daddy appreciate it,” Hornsby said.
Hornsby cut down trees with an ax and the youth helped pick up the debris. In addition, Joseph Tinker, who has his own construction company, led the home improvements to the roof, waterline and deck.
“This house has already changed about 80 percent,” Tinker said on Wednesday morning, three days into the project. “By the time I get finished, it isn’t going to look like the house that was here.”
The week wasn’t all work for the youth workers, however; the Blaney youth began their Wednesday with a Bojangles breakfast and paint fight. They all wore white T-shirts and each grabbed his or her bottle of choice. They slung and squirted paint all over each other until their shirts we’re covered with brightly colored splatters. Then they transitioned from painting each other to painting the house and working on the landscaping. Four of the youth painted the trimming under the roof, while the rest raked the remaining debris in the yard.
“The youth have done the majority of the yard work,” Mike Irvin from Blaney Baptist said. “They have a rake in one hand and Bojangles in the other, but they get it done.”
Each day a different church hosted lunch, which was provided free for all of the volunteers. The youth stopped working at noon each day because of the heat but some of the adults continued to work.
At lunch the first day a story was told from one of the sites where a neighbor baked cookies and brought them to the volunteers.
“When you do that kind of work the neighborhood and people around the community are interested in what you’re doing and even want to help,” Rev. Bill Wright of the Columbia Metro Baptist Association said.
Several churches participated in the Blitz at various worksites in Elgin including Blaney Baptist, Harmony Baptist, Hillcrest Baptist, Sawney’s Creek Baptist Church, Concord Baptist Church, North Columbia Baptist Church and Cedar Creek Baptist Church.
Hunter Kirkland from Concord Baptist’s youth group said that he hopes the Construction Blitz will get people talking.
“It might inspire some other churches to get involved,” Kirkland said. “It might inspire some people to consider going to church.”
Local churches raised money to fund the Construction Blitz from events like Vacation Bible School according to Wright. He also said the Columbia Metro Baptist Association, which consists of 106 churches, took up offerings to help with construction ministry projects.
“We’re trying to get our churches more involved in the community,” Rev. Ken Jackson from Hillcrest Baptist Church said.
“Let them know we’re here to help them. We’re more than just sitting behind our walls at church. We want to get out in the community and let people know we love them, the love of God and do what we need to do.”
According to Hornsby, God definitely played a role in the construction that was done to her parents’ home.
“I think God had all the help he could get,” Hornsby said. “Without Him I don’t know what we would have done. He was there helping us, especially in this heat.”