Habitat volunteers paint the block

One paint stroke at a time, PHUHS volunteers revitalize a home.

Ryin Bennett goes to the adult on the home site to fill up her paint bucket.

       A street lined with faded walls transforms into a colorful community within six and a half hours. Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization, depends upon volunteers to build and beautify homes. PHUHS Habitat members joined the organization for their special event.

The PHUHS Habitat chapter had 12 of 200 volunteers at the Paint the Block event Saturday Nov. 10. Volunteers drove to Largo in order to spend half of their day repainting a home that had been built for the less fortunate.

Usually, Habitat volunteer opportunities involve building the home or landscaping. Painting is a change of pace for some of the returning volunteers.

“I love volunteering for Habitat in any way I can, but I find painting more fun and creative than building or landscaping,” Ryin Bennett (‘20) said.

Starting at 8 a.m. student volunteers were assigned to one of the houses on the block, picked up either a roller or a paint brush, and began painting with paint donated by Valspar. Those with rollers were given the color ‘love birds,’ that would transform the beige walls to a light blue. Those with brushes were given white paint to make the brown trim white.

“I feel like my skills of teamwork and dedications were improved as painting a house is a team effort,” Brison Stevens (‘20) said. “I enjoyed the experience as a whole, from sharing laughs with the rest of the chapter to seeing the home owners we were helping. I definitely will be volunteering for habitat again.”

For many of the PHUHS Habitat members, it was their first time volunteering with Habitat for Pinellas. Habitat builds normally require the volunteer to be 16-years-old or older, but this event allowed anyone 14-years-old and up to participate. New volunteers were able to experience what a Habitat event is like.

“I did a lot of new things within the Paint the Block project that I had never done before, ” Stella Billirakis (‘21) said. “The biggest thing would be painting a house. Other things [like]  working on a group project with complete strangers and forming relationships with them due to our common interest in helping the community [was something new].”

The overall feeling of doing something to better the community is what drives this organization. Those who volunteer with Habitat get to see the change they make.“I enjoyed working with so many other volunteers to accomplish something so visibly apparent,” Anisha Abraham (‘21) said.

From climbing ladders, to painting walls, to cleaning brushes, new and old Habitat members were able to contribute to the transformation of a home. From beige and brown to blue and white. The task required a group coming together to revitalize this Habitat home.