Over 35 yrs ago, Melanie, then 18 yrs. old, had a serious car accident which left her a quadriplegic. She and her 71 yr. old caregiver, Michael, who has cared for her over 25 yrs. had received a code violation for the condition of the home she owned. Unable to afford the paint or do the physical labor, it seemed hopeless. After submitting an application to Paint Your Heart Out Lakeland, they were eligible to have their paint donated, now all they needed was a team large enough to tackle the project.
After placing an ad in the Victory Church bulletin for four weeks, Victory’s Care Director, Sharon Steffy, was excited to discover she had signed up more Paint Your Heart Out volunteers than she had anticipated! Team Victory was assigned Melanie’s home, and on Saturday, March 16, 8:00 AM, 50 Victory Church volunteers descended on Melanie’s house! The home was in serious disrepair and despite the fact the team had been instructed to ‘paint only’ it was obvious that additional work needed to be completed. A few men started on replacing the support to the front porch (trip to the lumber mill), one decided that because some of the wood siding was rotted through, some replacement siding should be added (trip home to get supplies), several tackled the landscaping which had tree limbs actually causing the roof to bow out, and a few of the ladies could not stand that the front six windows had blinds with missing and broken slats (trip to Wal-Mart).The team worked furiously for over six hours and the results were stunning! When Melanie came rolling out of the home after the completion of the job, she was overwhelmed with thanksgiving! They gave the glory to God and called it a ‘divine appointment’. What an honor to be used in our community is such a humbling way!