On a sunny Saturday on April 23, 25-30 volunteers congregated at a dilapidated house in West Oakland to help with a project organized by Rebuilding Together Oakland. This organization helps repair low-income homes in Oakland and Hayward. The volunteers included a high school student, employees participating in their organization’s annual volunteer project, members of Service for Peace, and young adults from the general Bay Area community.
The resident of the house had become unable to maintain the upkeep of the house, leading to the build-up of clutter, trash, mold, weeds, and faded paint. It is sad to imagine a human being living in such a state. To restore the building to livable conditions, the volunteers removed enough junk to fill a large dumpster, washed and painted the entire outside of the house with a primer, and cleared a mess of weeds choking the backyard.
By the time the team of helpers left late in the afternoon, the house was completely transformed. There is still much work to be done, including more junk to remove, plumbing to repair, and a backyard to be replanted. The newly white house shone bright like the eyes of the downtrodden that lift upward with renewed hope. What a wonderful opportunity to help restore the dignity of a fellow human!