About 25 volunteers mowed grass and scrubbed, painted and moved furniture to help a fellow Murfreesboro resident Saturday.
Both Hands Foundation, which has a mission to serve orphans and widows in the community, took an interest in Charlene Swader. A widow in her 80s, Swader lost her son earlier this year.
Her home on Phillips Faith Chapel Church Road had become a bit of a burden as the grass in the yard had grown over knee high, the roof had a hole in it and leaked into a bedroom, and her home was filled with unused furniture and household items.
“I had no clue what to expect. It has come a long way,” said Tammy Duffy, a volunteer who tackled one of the back bedrooms.
She moved furniture, cleaned carpets and walls and more to get the room back in order. She removed bags of trash and unnecessary items.
“This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this. It’s been great. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished,” Duffy said.
According to Roberta Fanelli, who organized the volunteer movement Saturday, everyone who donated their time receives sponsors for their time. Then the money donated for their volunteer hours goes to help an orphanage in Guatemala that serves children with HIV and AIDS.
“We sent out about 200 sponsorship letters, and about 200 more emails. About 75 percent of the money comes in after the work is done,” she explained.
Fanelli also said that local businesses donate services and products so that all the money raised can then go to help the orphanage.
“We serve the widow with one hand and raise money to give to the orphans with the other. That’s where the ‘Both Hands’ comes from,” Fanelli said.
While the volunteers cleaned her home and re-stained her porch, Swader was treated to a personal makeover, getting her hair and nails done at a local beauty shop.
“They aren’t going to recognize her at church,” said Dorothy Vaughter, Swader’s 73-72-year-old sister. “I think they’ve done a great job. She is so happy to have friends that care about her.”
Vaughter was impressed with the work that the volunteers put into caring for her sister’s home.
“I just love it. I wish I was young enough to help and be a part of it,” she said.
Article by: Samantha E. Williams
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Project manager comment: Unfortunately Mrs. Swader is "aging out" of her Government program job July 30, if you are aware of anyone needing a hard working woman please consider Mrs. Swader, her SS check will not maintain her current living situation. Anyone wishing to donate to Village of Hope-Guatemala go to http://bothhands.org/VOHmurfreesboro.