By Tom Kear and Kevin Motiram
From July 10 to 18, nearly 200 volunteers from Canada and the U.S. spent their time painting houses and getting to know those who live in the Shoreham Court community. It was all part of a project called Refresh, which was organized by the Ephraim’s Place Community Centre in partnership with the Jane-Finch Church Coalition. The program is designed to create a strong sense of community, restore local pride and improve the living conditions of those living in homes provided by Toronto Community Housing.
Diana Am. and Gladis An. both had a number of rooms in their Shoreham homes painted by volunteers from local Jane-Finch Church Coalition churches and from the U.S. “I am really happy to have some volunteer assistance in getting my home painted,” said Gladis, who moved her furniture back from the walls and provided lunch for the volunteer painters.
Megan Henney, a high school student from Pittsburgh, was one of the many volunteers for the Refresh program. “It goes both ways: we learned about the family in the home we were painting, and we had a great lunch.”
Kara Getkin, a volunteer who is on staff at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, added, “This has been a great cultural experience.”
Over nine days, approximately 55 families had painting done in their homes by 199 volunteers. Ephraim’s Place and the Jane-Finch Church Coalition would like to thank Gillian Dennis and the Toronto Community Housing staff along with Jamac Nur and other leaders in the Shoreham community for working so cooperatively with the volunteers.