Tulsa Organization Sponsors Home Makeovers

Saturday, April 25th 2009, 5:52 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- From paintbrushes to screwdrivers, hundreds of volunteers were busy across Tulsa today.

It was the annual rebuild day to help low-income homeowners.

More than 300 volunteers fanned out across a north Tulsa neighborhood. Armed with paintbrushes and elbow grease, employees from Scott & Goble Architects have spent the past two Saturdays sprucing up Audrey Toombs' home.

"They're doing good work," Toombs said. "They're wonderful people. There's just no words for it."

Toombs has lived in the home for 30 years. She says watching the transformation from her old house to her new home has been amazing.

"Probably going to drive by and keep going and not recognize it," Toombs said. "It's just a huge transformation. A lot of work needed to be done here, and I wasn't financially able to do it, so this is great."

Rebuilding Together Tulsa, a nonprofit organization, is in charge of the redo. Twenty-five homes in the Hawthorne neighborhood near 36th Street North and Peoria Avenue were on Saturday's list.

"A wheelchair ramp went in today, lots of debris removal," said Jennifer Barcus-Schafer with Rebuilding Together Tulsa.

Volunteers also help with plumbing and making the homes more energy efficient.

Organizers say each resident must own the home and live in Tulsa city limits.      

"Our priority is low-income seniors and folks with disabilities, but we do have a few areas where we're able to help all low-income families," Barcus-Schafer said.

The volunteers say the sweat and grime is worth it, especially when they see the joy it brings.

"It's good just to give and when you actually do it and you feel it in here, that's what it's all about," volunteer Michael Hoover said.

Rebuilding Together Tulsa organizers say they work all year to make repairs to homes in the city.

Learn more about the organization.