Volunteer Spotlight: Jay
Jay Barclay has been volunteering with NeighborLink Indianapolis for the last five years. He generously gives at least one Saturday each month to help hoist gutters, fix fascia boards and guide new handy-people-to-be on proper hand tool usage. Jay is one of the long-time members of our gutter team.
Jay isn’t a professional gutter guy, in fact, his work week uses a far different skill set. One might wonder how he got into this line of volunteering.
“Dave Withey and I attend the same church and we were working on a project together when he asked me to help with something else,” said Jay. “I didn’t know it was going to lead to all this, but I guess that’s the way it happens.”
Oftentimes, the homeowners Jay and the gutter team are helping are individuals who by physical limitations, financial burdens, or just plain unawares have been experiencing issues from their gutters. In the case of recent years, the gutter team only takes on gutter projects that have been cited by The Marion County Public Health Department. These projects run the risk of an increased financial burden for the homeowner on their
property taxes. Unfortunately for some, this can even lead to losing their home. NeighborLink Indianapolis works to help these homeowners remain in their own homes and allow them to age in place safely. We are able to do this by using volunteers primarily. Volunteers like Jay, who commit to helping regularly through the year are absolutely the backbone of our organization.
“It’s fun working with the other guys, we get a rhythm going and we feel like we’re making a difference,” Jay explains. “Even though we’re just working with the gutters, we know it’s really important.”
Gutter repair may not seem glamorous as far as how to spend one's Saturday morning, but when you take a step back and realize all the ways a gutter can be a major player in home deterioration, it makes more sense. When a homeowner is unable to clean or do minor repairs to gutters, that can create major problems. Flooded basements, foundation issues, water damage in the home, ice dams, roof damage and more are all common results from neglected gutters.
If you’re looking for ways to make a difference in the city of Indianapolis, consider helping one of our homeowners. Jay puts it a really great way,
“There’s a lot of need out there. You can’t do everything, but so long as you can do something, it’s good.”