Time Capsule Hometown Angels

Connie Bretz

I'm stuck, as you maybe also, on the idea that missionaries usually go to foreign countries to tell the Gospel story and spread Christianity. But, wait a minute.

I first heard about the hometown angels called Good Works, Inc. at a friends house, Cliff Anderson of Phoenixville. Cliff mentioned that he delivers materials as a Good Works volunteers to homeowner worksites.

"What is that?" I asked.

"The office is in Coatesville, but the non-profit group works in different boroughs around Chester County. It's for people who live in their own home, pay their taxes, own their home, and fit into a specific financial bracket." He added that Good Works charges no money for their Christian services as carpenters, electricians, engineers and more.

I learned that the organized has been around for 22 years helping low income homeowners with home repairs that make their homes warmer, safer and drier.

Here's how it worked for one Phoenixville homeowner, after she had applied for home repair assistance with Good Works, and was approved.

First, the Good Works repair supervisor came to assess the needs of her old home. He looked carefully at windows, radiators and the furnace room.

Several weeks later, twelve people of all ages, men and women appeared. They stood in a circle in the living room, said a prayer, and walked off to three different areas in her home to begin their work.

The group put in three railings, new windows, applied weather stripping at the front and back doors, replaced a missing piece of ceiling tile and fixed the faucets so hot water would flow out of "hot" and not "cold."

They installed a smoke detector in the cellar, too.

The Good Works volunteers were community members as well as volunteers from churches. Funding for their some of the repair expenses comes from grants, churches, corporations and private donors.

In Phoenixville, the volunteer work crews arrive every second Saturday of each month until all the repairs promised are completed.

At noon, another crew of volunteers brings lunch for the workers and homeowner - sandwiches, salad, chips, dessert and beverages.

The work on this particular Phoenixville house lasted for 12 Saturday workdays. The final project was a new concrete sidewalk and repaired front porch.

On the final day of work, a home dedication was held. The grateful homeowner received a Bible and framed drawing of Christ holding a lamb. In addition, she received two certificates that granted her the opportunity to phone Good Works twice within the next five years for any new repairs that would keep her home warm, safe and dry.

The Phoenixville Senior Center, at 153 Church St. has a bulletin board explanation of Good Work, Inc. Go, see it.

Hope you like this good news in contrast to the "poor economic times" news we hear over and over. With love from Keystone Connie who likes snail mail and the home phone: 610-933-0669.

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