When George Roberts became the Director of East Cooper Meals on Wheels (ECMOW) in 2012, he began hearing from volunteer drivers about health, safety and security issues at some of the homes where meals were delivered. Things like rotten porch floors, entrance doors that couldn’t be locked, homeowners in wheelchairs or on walkers without ramps access, things that some homeowner were unable to take care of themselves. He talked with his counterparts at East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO) and East Cooper Habitat for Humanity (HfH) and together they determined no one was offering simple, no cost repairs for these situations. Subsequently the directors of these three agencies (ECMOW, ECCO, HfH) wrote a letter to the East Cooper Faith Network (ECFN) requesting assistance.
The Power of a Network
ECFN studied the issue and scheduled a well-publicized public forum in the spring of 2012 at Hibben Methodist Church to seek broader input and toward a structured solution. Mainly, to understand the community issue first rather than presenting an assumed solution. Out of that public forum a core group of 5 churches and 2 partners began meeting monthly to review needs and work up a ‘game plan’ for “Fix It!” solutions. In the first year, through this cooperative effort of volunteer labor and discounted materials, 5 new ramps were built and 8 homes repaired to meet health, safety and security standards. Fix It! is supported by a strong and growing team of local area churches, community members and community partners. In this growing initiative there are now actively involved: 15 churches, 4 partner agencies and 3 material suppliers.
Jeff Rose, Co-Chair of Fix It! along with Anthony Major say “FIX IT is all about being the hands and feet of Christ for people in need in our community East of the Cooper. We live in an affluent area, however, we must open our eyes, hearts and minds to those in need of a hand and give of our time, talents and resources to have a positive impact on people’s health, safety and quality of life! Our projects that are repairs to homes or wheelchair ramps are so important and “life changing” to our community”
Fix It! utilizes skilled and un-skilled volunteers to complete the majority of all requests. Many individuals in and around the east Cooper area have the skill and knowledge to lead a team in the completion of major and minor home repairs. All requests for assistance are reviewed, assessed and prioritized by community agency partners and a team of volunteer assessors. If you have construction project management experience, skills in construction, or home repair and can donate some of your time, we are always in need of new volunteers.
ELIGIBILITY for service:
- Family who needs support and/or unable to manage repairs
- Home must be located in the east Cooper community
- Completed application submitted and approved
- Mount Pleasant area (soon to expand north)
Regardless of experience level or expertise, the time and talents of church or organization members can be put to great use as a part of ECFN Fix!
East Cooper Faith Network (ECFN) is a collaborative network of faith and charitable organizations East of the Cooper. Our belief is that we can DO MORE and DO BETTER if we work in harmony to serve our collective community.
More information can be found on our website at www.ecfaithnetwork.org or by contacting Thom Gault (thom.gault@ecfaithnetwork,.org).