Some 20 volunteers did not know what to expect when they showed up Saturday morning at Cameron Hoverson’s home for the Greater Sioux Falls Habitat For Humanity’s latest Neighborhood Revitalization project.
A group gathered in the drive way about 9am greeted by seasonably cool weather, to get instructions to paint the exterior of the house in southeast Harrisburg.
College student Adam Rule, 20, who has a summer painting business, knew immediately he wanted to volunteer after he heard about the Hands and Feet Opportunity on LIFE 96.5
While scraping and priming the east side of the house with a team of three others, he noted the work is going “pretty fast.”
Habitat for Humanity’s workforce is volunteer so every time they do a project it reflects the Hands and Feet of Christ.
“It is heartwarming to see the community come together to help someone they don’t know, but understand there is a true need that needs to filled,” said Lee Ferguson who is coordinator of the organization’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. “It’s a true, honest need that is being filled. You can’t help but feel good if you’re helping someone that truly has a need and is willing to partner with you and accomplish great things and possibly pass that on to others.”
Hoverson, 36, grew up in Harrisburg and graduated from HHS and now is a bookkeeper at the Lutheran church down the street from his newly painted home.
Hoverson operated from his wheelchair all day giving out words of encouragement, thanks and answering supply questions to any of the volunteers.
“The most humbling part is, what can I do,” said Hoverson. “Everyone told me, we’ve got it, don’t worry.”
The NRI program can help people like Hoverson as Habitat for Humanity saw a need to reach out even more to help families in need.
Habitat builds about 6,000 houses a year globally and they felt there was a way to reach others in need.
“We found out the ones that were in need already owned homes,” said Ferguson. “They didn’t need one built for them, but they struggled with the maintenance of them.”
So this initiative helps low-income homeowners pay for those types of things to get those sorts of projects completed.
Hoverson has a daughter that’s age 13 and a son that’s 8 years-old. He has lived in the house for 9 1/2 years and says the house looks better than the day he bought it.
“It looked like a ratty-old cottage but now it’s one of the brightest houses on the block, it looks fantastic and I am so grateful.”
Neighbors walked over during the paint project to lift Hoverson’s spirits even more as the volunteers scrapped, painted and laughed.
You see, twelve years ago, Hoverson was very sick and doctors found a malignant tumor on his spine and to get rid of that tumor, surgeons had to cut his spinal cord and the nerve roots that control the lower right-quarter of his body. He had no use of the lower right leg AND was in extreme pain.
Nearly 18 months ago Hoverson had his leg amputated at the knee to stem some of the incredible pain.
Britt Hoteling, a young professional, worked the entire day in his blue LIFE 96.5 t-shirt and could see the smile in Hoverson’s eyes grow as the house transformed from an aged and dirty white to home dressed in a shade of yellow.
The home is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch style with connected garage.
Rachel Nevin, 18, graduated from Sioux Falls Lincoln in the spring, listens to LIFE 96.5 and couldn’t wait to jump at the chance to join others in the exterior reclamation before she enters school this falls as a freshman math/physics major at Augustana College.
“I like to help others and to show the love of God,” Nevin said as she collected rags and ladders at the end of the project.