During the pandemic, Inter-Faith Housing Alliance was considered an essential service. So life went on …maybe not exactly as usual, but it went on. Families entered Hope Gardens, and families graduated. And when apartments became empty, we needed to get them ready for a new family to move in as quickly as possible.
We rely on volunteers for these apartment updates to contain costs. But during the pandemic, volunteers stayed home. Congregations and corporate groups ceased outreach. We were at a loss.
Imagine our excitement when we got a call from Dave and Nancy. They said they were bored and asked if we had anything they could do. Just then, we were trying to finish turning over an apartment. So we were thrilled to have their help. We put them to work tiling a kitchen backsplash.
Nancy said, “We felt safe to come in and work in an empty apartment. We were still just by ourselves working and only saw the staff. The staff made us feel safe and made sure of safety protocols.”
Dave and Nancy like volunteering together as a couple. It’s just like working on projects at their home and their children’s homes, they say. They renovated both their sons’ kitchens.
“I guess we work well together,” Nancy said. “We fight. But then we go home and eat lunch and then we’re fine.”
Dave said, “You don’t really need special skills. There is something for everyone.” Ceramic tiling seems to be their thing. They have a system. Nancy is the design person—she enjoys picking tiles and colors. Dave does most of the heavy work. And each of the eight apartments at Hope Gardens has beautiful backsplash tile, thanks to them.
Dave and Nancy started volunteering at Inter-Faith in 2016, when their pastor at Supplee Presbyterian Church called for support to help renovate Inter-Faith’s new property at Hope Forest.
“We spent the whole summer of 2016 working at Hope Forest,” said Dave. “We started tiling one bathroom and then they asked us to do the second apartment’s bathroom too.”
While at Hope Forest, they met the one of the families who was moving into the apartment. They were touched seeing the excitement of a little girl moving into her new home.
“There’s a need, so why not do it!” Nancy said. “You can write a check, but this is more satisfying for us.”