Good Works Inc.
Restoring hope by repairing homes in Chester County, PA
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Volunteers from St. Peters and the wider community gather every second Saturday to extend the love of Jesus Christ to low-income homeowners within the Phoenixville-Spring City corridor, by making their homes warmer, safer and drier. Repairs may extend for months allowing all who are involved to develop deeper relationships.
For additional information go to the organization Web site: Photos: http://www.goodworksinc.org/photos/
Article~ Beacon December 2017
A Time for Work, Hope and Pride
Now is the time for St. Peter’s to express pride in the accomplishments of its eighteen-year old Good Works ministry and engage more volunteers who will create hope for those in need and make their homes warmer, safer, and drier.
This ministry focuses on our neighbors who may never enjoy the Holy Hill; hence some members of St. Peter’s may be unfamiliar with an important chapter in outreach history.
In the mid-1990s work rehabilitating homes in Coatesville began with St. Peter’s youth who engaged in a project once a year. Efforts expanded with the first Habitat for Humanity project in High Point, North Carolina during the summer of 2000.
That year St. Peter’s organized and formalized its commitment to make home repairs for those in need. Leaders were Roger Thorne (chief), Jason Hacker (technical oversight), and Mark Carkhuff (recruitment). Activities occurred once a month until St. Peter’s became a partnership church (adopting a specific home and homeowner). The Saturday morning tradition continued when Ken Fleischer became crew leader and Catherine Kerrison spiritual ambassador. Tom Brehm (tech expert} is another long-time team member. For years members of our congregation have provided lunch for the work crews.
Two stories illustrate our program. Phyllis described her mobile home as dark, dreary, and depressing. The work crew replaced kitchen cabinets, repaired the floor, and made many necessary repairs. Extras included removing a wall and expanding her bedroom. Changing the brown walls to ivory and adding drapes immediately reduced her depression. Overall St. Peter’s improvements “enabled Phyllis to claim her dwelling as her own, and no longer the house her father dragged her to.” Inspired by her experience with St. Peter’s Good Works crew, Phyllis volunteered on subsequent projects and with Meals on Wheels.
The installation of new windows, electrical circuits, and a kitchen ceiling were among the many improvements made to Willie’s home. Lots of painting spruced up the place. Willie became an active participant in work on his home. The improvements so encouraged Willie, that two years after we finished our participation, he created a mancave in his basement.
St. Peter’s has established a wonderful tradition of helping people in need enjoy homes that are warmer, safer, and drier. Our success has also restored hope in the people we’ve served. Russ Herrick, a Good Works staff member, observed that, “St. Peter’s has far exceeded the length of commitment by any other sponsoring church.” Most churches remain active for three or four years. Some originators of our program have remained active for almost two decades.
If you are adept at home repairs or would like to learn new skills, please consider joining the crew on the second Saturday of the month. You need not commit to every month. If you are fourteen or older, you can experience the joy of helping neighbors. With new volunteers, our new project can begin in February.