The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Students help to renovate north Fort Worth home

Students+help+to+renovate+north+Fort+Worth+home

By Audrey Werth/reporter

A team of TR Campus students came together Oct. 11 to paint the exterior of a man’s home as part of Cowtown Brush Up.

Every October, the city of Fort Worth and Trinity Habitat for Humanity collaborate to paint and make minor repairs to homes of those most in need.

This year, a number of those who participated received a pep talk from former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn.

Each year, the Carters spend a week working with Habitat for Humanity to revitalize homes throughout the world.

The Carters kicked off the Cowtown Brush Up that morning, praising volunteers for their efforts before sending the teams out to paint 44 homes around Fort Worth.

“It’s a good way for the homeowners, who are unable to paint their home, to get assistance from the community,” said Elena Walker, TR student development associate.

Eight volunteers from TCC participated in painting the home of Gary Gunter and his wife in the Northside area.

Gunter, a lifelong resident of the neighborhood, has lived on Hale Avenue for 56 years.

“I grew up just across the street, but when I couldn’t fix up my mother’s house, I had to sell it,” Gunter said.

His wife eventually convinced him it would be worthwhile to see if the city would help them repaint their current home.

“We started out trying to paint our house with the help of neighbors, but I injured my back, and we realized that we just weren’t going to be able to do it,” Gunter said.

At first, Gunter had trouble asking for help, but the city reassured him that the Cowtown Brush Up exists for families in situations like his.

Elvis Martinez and Sudeep Shresda paint a home in the Northside area of Fort Worth Oct. 11. Photos by Audrey Werth/The Collegian
Elvis Martinez and Sudeep Shresda paint a home in the Northside area of Fort Worth Oct. 11. Photos by Audrey Werth/The Collegian

“We always give, but it got to the point where we needed help and they came,” he said. “I’ll tell you right now, if I could do it, I wouldn’t want the help.”

It is never easy to ask for help, but because of financial and physical limitations, many families across the city require assistance making basic repairs on their homes.

TCC students and staff said they were determined to do a great paint job.

“I have learned a lot by getting involved. I tell myself not to stereotype or judge anybody,” said Maria Reyes, a TR freshman. “This is the first event I have been able to come to, so I am really glad I am able to be here.”

For most of the student volunteers, this was their first experience painting the exterior of a house. They expressed nervousness, wanting to be sure the home would look great in the end.

Tamika Smikle lightened the mood with her confidence saying, “Oh, it will look great!”

Elvis Martinez, a senior office assistant on TR, has participated with TCC in the Cowtown Brush Up for the past three years.

“I enjoy it. It’s for a good cause. You actually know that what you are doing is impacting other families,” he said. “And for the students, we really want them to get involved. It’s all about making the difference in the lives of others.”

Martinez and Walker hope more students and faculty will get involved in the community.

“There are people who need to have their houses improved but don’t have the resources to do it themselves, so that’s where my role comes in at the school. I try to engage students with the community through different events,” said Walker, who organizes events for TR.

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