“We paint fences, decks, homes, garages and that kind of thing for seniors and people with disabilities who both physically and financially can’t afford to do it themselves. This year, we’re trying to do a certain number of rural projects to try to build volunteer capacity throughout southern Alberta and this is our first rural project of the year — here in Coaldale,” said Chris Vokey, a Project Paintbrush volunteer from Lethbridge. Vokey has volunteered with the project for the past two years.
Vokey explained the idea started as part of Volunteer Lethbridge, as a way to help seniors and build volunteer capacity and since the group first started, the number of projects completed each year has grown immensely.
Last year, Vokey said, Project Paintbrush set a new record with 22 painting projects.
“That was twice what we did the previous year and this year we want to beat that again.”
Aside from volunteer hours, paint and equipment is donated by a variety of local sponsors in the area in which the project is set up.
“For rural we try to go to rural sponsors like Home Hardware in Coaldale. They provided the paint,” and lunch was provided by a local restaurant. And in Lethbridge it’s the same kind of thing, Vokey added.
A lot of home owners, Vokey said, will give the group donations after the project is completed.
“That goes a long way to help another home owner.”
It was by accident Vokey got involved as a volunteer last year but this year he continued his volunteer work because he said he likes to help people.
“There’s a lot of work to get set up but the actual paint days and helping the seniors and seeing how they respond to it all is very rewarding,” said Vokey, adding teams are anywhere between two and 30, depending on the project.
Project Paintbrush, Vokey noted, is still looking for home owners both in Lethbridge and all throughout southern Alberta and volunteers, corporate teams and sponsors. For more information call the Volunteer Lethbridge office at 403-320-2044.
Coaldale resident Laurel Garrett had Project Paintbrush work their volunteer magic last Tuesday, after she heard about the non-profit group in a brochure.
“What a great thing,” she said, adding the volunteer team, who are great people, work like troopers.