The sun was shining and the volunteers just kept coming at the kick-off for Housing Assistance Corporation's annual event, The Big Fix in Mashpee.
When all was said and done, more than 250 volunteers participated in Housing Assistance Corporation’s annual community service day on Saturday, September 28.
This was the fourth year of The Big Fix, in which HAC sends teams of volunteers to assist income-eligible homeowners—senior citizens, veterans and disabled people—with clean-up, landscaping, and small home repair projects. Since 2010, HAC has mobilized more than 550 volunteers at 52 homes in Barnstable, Sandwich, Dennis and, this year, Mashpee.
“It was a great day,” Julie Wake, Housing Assistance Corporation’s Director of Communications and Development, said. She praised the many sponsors who helped make the event possible, including Heroes in Transition Inc., which donated funds to complete work at the five homes of veterans. Also contributing funds were Eastern Bank, Anchor Self Storage, Botello's Lumber, and the Mashpee Chamber of Commerce. Offering in-kind donations were Cape Associates, Ninety-Nine Restaurant, Starbucks Coffee, Cape Cod Potato Chips, Boston Culinary Group, Stop & Shop, and Pina Sanitation. As an extra special gesture, Mashpee Town Administrator Joyce Mason and Mashpee Selectman Carol Sherman donated a pot of hardy mums to each of the 12 houses serviced during the event.
The Town of Mashpee also played a large role in the event, with town officials helping with everything from signage to trash pickup and labor.
Mashpee Town Manager Joyce Mason, Assistant Town Manager Tom Mayo and DPW Director Catherine Laurent all rolled up their sleeves along with dozens of other Mashpee town employees to help out. Mr. Mayo and Ms. Laurent talking after the event, proclaimed the day an overwhelming success, as people from throughout the community came together to help their neighbors in need.
The 12 recipients of The Big Fix included a 73-year-old tribal elder who is disabled and needed help with painting her front steps; a 96-year-old woman who lives alone and needed extensive yard work; a 93-year-old tribal elder who is partially blind and needed some cords of wood stacked; a disabled woman who recently lost her husband of 33 years; and a veteran’s widow who has an adult son with Down syndrome. Some volunteers also worked to spruce up the Mashpee Housing Authority’s Homemeyer Village on Jobs Fishing Road, which needed a range of yard improvements, including washing the fence.
The jobs at the other homes included tree work, plumbing, chimney work, new doors, installing floors, painting, dump runs, electrical problems, and lots of yard work. Skilled laborers volunteering their time were in abundance and they were needed for jobs ranging from carpentry to plumbing, masonry and roof work.
By lunchtime, most jobs were completed and volunteers returned to the high school for hamburgers and hotdogs cooked on an outdoor grill with food and labor all donated by Ninety-Nine Restaurant.
Among those helping out throughout the day were students from the Key Club at Mashpee High School, boy scouts from Troop 36 in Mashpee led by John Cotton, a Coast Guard crew from Chatham, social work students from Cape Cod Community College, teachers and other Mashpee School Department staff, numerous Town of Mashpee workers and many other groups and individuals.