Paint it Forward for Heroes, Inc.
Sierra Grant: $2,500 in the 2nd quarter of 2017
Mission: To show respect for local veterans, especially those with disabilities, by blessing them with an exterior home makeover.
Bank of the Sierra was very pleased to collaborate with the Paint it Forward for Heroes program. We sat down with organization president Jerry Barkley to learn a little bit more about Paint it Forward’s goals and vision.
All the non-profits we collaborate with have a vision for their community—what’s your vision?
Our vision is to reach out to the forgotten elderly disabled veterans in the community. The need is greater now as veterans are ageing and have increased financial and medical needs. Money is a great need, and definitely appreciated, but nothing blesses them more than when a crew of volunteers and materials show up at their door to do a total exterior home makeover. That is when reality sets in and the tears start to flow.
Describe your organization and/or the work you do in three words.
Rewards, deserving veterans.
What specific work have you been using donations to accomplish recently?
We use donations to purchase needed materials and supplies to complete the selected home make over. Materials purchased varies according to the condition of the home and surrounding landscape: Typically we purchase exterior paint, doors, windows, trim, screen, lumber and plant material. We also purchase a small amount of advertising to attract applicants. All the work is accomplished by volunteers: family, friends, neighbors and other veterans.
Do you have an individual success story to share from your organization’s efforts?
The story leaving the most impression was our a recent recipient from 2014. His home was always clean and impeccable. He was a proud 82-year-old Korean War veteran. Being unselfish and a friendly neighbor, he transported many of his neighbors to appointments and helped them around their homes. However, his health declined and his home fell into serious disrepair and needed a lot of work. Tragically, a short time after his home was chosen for the makeover, he had a stroke and became disabled and immobile. His spouse was disabled too, and depended on him. A little while after we finished with the renovations, Marvin passed away and his wife expressed her appreciation to us for our timely makeover.
Educating the public about causes is an important part of non-profit work. Is there something you’d like everyone to know about the people you help or the efforts of your team?
In general it is becoming more apparent that our veterans are being forgotten by the system and the public. In particular, disabled veterans are seemingly unappreciated, some without options for help and healthcare. Our love and concerns for our elderly unforgotten veterans is our passion. The more applications we receive from our forgotten veterans and the stories of need and assistance motivates us to continue this amazing and uplifting activity.
Anything else you want to share?
I was the Dean at Reedley College for 24 years and involved in a variety of ministry at Visalia First Assembly, helping seniors and those in need. I did not believe I could ever be involved with anything more uplifting and rewarding, but believe me, Paint It Forward For Heroes Inc. has surpassed all my other accomplishments.
We wish Jerry and his volunteers the best of luck as his operation continues to grow and serve our community.
If you’re interested in volunteering your time or making a donation to Paint it Forward for Heroes, Inc., you can contact Jerry Barkley directly at jerrybarkley1939 at att dot net