More than 1,200 Nazarenes have gathered this week for One Heart – Many Hands, a weeklong service project in the 46201 zip code.
The group is working on nearly 150 projects, including building five brand new homes in partnership with the Central Indiana Fuller Center for Housing.
Lorie Crawford, Work & Witness coordinator for the USA/Canada Eastern Kentucky District, shared about her experience working on one of the new houses.
“The neighbor across the street from us wasn't happy because we were using his yard to sit around in and store one of our trailers,” she said. “I kept hearing people say he was grouchy, so I made it a point to meet him myself.”
As Crawford talked with him, she knew the team needed to something for him, too. The man’s yard was full of weeds because his lawnmower was broken, so the team bought him a lawn mower, gas can, and gas.
“We mowed his yard while he was at work the next day and then surprised him with the new mower when he came home,” Crawford said. “He was so happy! He knows who the Nazarenes are now!”
The team’s generous act inspired another group to borrow the new mower and cut another yard on the same street.
Other projects included repairs to 85 owner-occupied homes and 58 projects at abandoned houses in high-crime areas chosen by the county.
Improvements to the abandoned houses included installing floodlights in backyards, removing vegetation, and painting designs on boarded-up windows and doors.
“They got real creative with the designs,” said George Sisler, OHMH president. “I saw stained glass windows and a table with light and flowers. The neighbors were happy to get rid of some eye sores!”
Sisler is grateful for the help of several partners.
“I want to thank our partners that have made this possible — Shepherd Community Center, Englewood, SEND, the Fuller Center, and most importantly the home owners for allowing us to be part of their lives for a week,” he said.
OHMH began 18 June and concludes 23 June.