NEW BERLIN – Churches have always been a source of aid and assistance to the communities in which they reside, and that tradition of assistance and multi-church partnership has appeared with “Helping Hands.”
It is an outreach program organized by St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus in New Berlin and is currently repairing, painting and updating an elderly resident's home at 35 South Main St. in New Berlin.
“Our church has come to the realization that a lot of our people need help in keeping up on projects,” said Pat Houghton, Parish Coordinator. She said that many people are economically challenged or do not have the help needed to maintain their properties.
Volunteers from St. Theresa's parish, local residents and other area churches such as the First United Methodist Church, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church and Berean Baptist Church have provided assistance. The parish also applied for a grant and is receiving monies for materials through the R.C. Smith Foundation of Norwich. The local pizzeria has given out free pizza and water so volunteers can stay all day to work on the project.
So far, volunteers have power washed the house to strip off paint and on July 12 they scraped paint and made repairs in order to prepare for painting.
This Saturday, July 19 volunteers will prime and paint in order to move forward in the process of repairing and improving the facade of the house. Another work day is scheduled for Saturday, July 26 in which volunteers will help with finishing touches and plant shrubbery. New volunteers are welcome to join in for any aspect of the project and for any length of time.
“People are coming forth, we're really happy with the turnout,” Houghton said. “All of our people are working together to do as much as they can to make this happen.”..