Volunteers Spruce Up Homes In Scranton

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SCRANTON -- For the past few summers, a public service group has brought in volunteers from across the country to fix up homes all over Lackawanna County and they're at it again.

And this time they recruited their help from right here in our area.

The NeighborWorks organization in Scranton organizes the annual week-long service project each year, and by the end of this week volunteers will have primed, painted, and patched a dozen homes in west Scranton, all with local help.

It's amazing what just a coat of fresh paint can do as a group of volunteers brushed and rolled their way around the house on North Everett Avenue in Scranton. They kept checking their progress and the way it brightened up the old home.

"We automatically noticed this morning how wonderful it looked, the change in it from the beginning to the end," said Mary Bowen.

The group is made up of employees from Citizens Bank branches in Scranton. They're one group of many repairing homes this week in west Scranton, a place Agnes Gregorsky has called home for 30 years. She watched, sometimes in tears, as her home transformed.

"It was going to be the house, then it was the garage, then they decided today, the girl spilt some paint by accident and now they're doing my porch," Gregorsky said.

NeighborWorks organizes the service project to spruce up homes in Lackawanna County every summer, but never using all volunteers from Lackawanna County ,so some of the people working on Agnes' home are her very own neighbors.

"I myself live in west Scranton. Three or four others do as well. We're doing a lot, as you know, in south Scranton. It's very important to the community. Every little bit helps, most definitely," Bowen said.

When the project is all said and done, volunteers working with NeighborWorks will have patched, primed, and painted a dozen homes in west Scranton. It's work the homeowners, like Agnes, couldn't do physically or financially on their own.

But Agnes says the fresh paint won't last as long as the gratitude she has.

"Have you made friends this week?"
"Yes, I have, I think so."

Folks who had their homes fixed up this week were recommended to NeighborWorks by their own neighbors. The volunteers plan to have all 12 homes done by Saturday.