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  • Writer's pictureRachel Nelson

Fall Repair Fest 2023 Was a Great Success

Saturday, October 29th was a brisk fall morning that made its way into an absolutely perfect sunny fall day for our 2nd Annual Fall Repair Fest, LEAF your home repairs to us event! Our neighborhood partners, The Edna Martin Christian Leadership and Legacy Center and the Martindale-Brightwood Community Development Corporation, hosted NeighborLink Indianapolis and 102 volunteers for the kick-off that morning. A continental breakfast was had, assignments given out, and remarks made to energize and mobilize this eager group of volunteers.

All told, this amazing group of volunteers from all of Marion county and beyond completed 32 projects for 16 homeowners in the span of four hours! Among the projects were a large debris clearing from a dilapidated garage, gutter cleaning and repairs and plenty of large yard clean ups. Several companies and organizations really showed up! CareSource and Atrium brought out large teams to tackle projects, Second Presbyterian Church, and Rolls Royce brought their own hard working groups and several friend groups came out to spend quality time helping their community as well as several neighbors from the Martindale-Brightwood area.

All the project materials, supplies and equipment and kickoff were provided by our generous Fall Repair Fest sponsors, Fifth Third Bank, Second Presbyterian Church and Intend Indiana. Our in-kind sponsor, Elements Financial dedicated their Purpose Day to assemble community leave behind gutter cleaning kits and create care baskets with handwritten encouragement cards.

Marion County Public Health Department leader, Dr. Virginia Caine, spoke of the importance of realizing these homeowners were anchors of their community and could easily be any one of our grandparents. For those without youthful strength available to them, we were their active arms and legs for completing these simple–yet important home projects. She put those words into action when she rolled up her sleeves, grabbed some gloves and got to work alongside volunteers clearing the debris. Councilman Zach Adamson’s passion for affordable housing and helping long-time residents have the opportunity to safely age in place came across in his remarks and in his work on a project site.

Ms. Floyd was a prime example of a community anchor. Her father built their 1964 home and she’d lived there since she was four years old. She went on to raise her daughter and host her grandchild in that same home. Her neighbors were all known to her–many of whom are the children and grandchildren of the original occupants. Fran has put sincere thought into her home and what its future will be. After all, Fran is a recovering double lung transplant patient. As any transplant patient will tell you, recovery from such surgery is incredibly difficult, not to mention a double lung being up there among the most taxing. She’s only recently been off oxygen and now fully breathing with her new set. As one can imagine, her health has prevented her from numerous upkeep activities around her home and her medical bills keep her from excess spending outside of the normal daily needs.

“When I go, I’m giving it to my grandson.” Declared Ms. Floyd when asked about the future of her home. This will be a pathway to homeownership and a family legacy carried on that isn’t often spoken of. A very clear example of passing generational wealth from great grandparents on down the line of family.

Thanks to several projects prior to Fall Repair Fest day and then her volunteer crew of handymen replacing and repairing her gutters, Ms. Floyd’s home is ready to stand for another 50+ years for the next generation of Floyd family members.

Ms. Floyd wasn’t the only homeowner served on this beautiful fall day, 15 other homeowners were able to be helped by this event. Ms. Stevens, who’s volunteer group included Dr. Virginia Caine, was stunned by a few discoveries several of the volunteers found. Unbeknownst to her, graduation photos and prom photos of her late daughter had been trapped under debris in long forgotten storage tubs. Not only that, one of her daughter’s sorority sisters had randomly been placed on her volunteer project. She was the one to find the sorority memorabilia Ms. Steven’s daughter had collected. It’s small, heart-felt touch points such as these that remind us of the need for communities to care for one another. We’re all connected by such small degrees of separation.

Planning has already begun for Fall Repair Fest 2023 (October 28) with the United Northeast CDC as we continue to serve neighbors in the 46218 area. We hope you’ll join us next year!

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