United Way’s Day of Action offered opportunities big and small for community service Saturday, and Paris residents stepped up to meet the challenge.

A total of 40 volunteers worked at seven home sites across the city scraping paint, clearing away brush, replacing floors and inserting windows.

“It was so exciting to see that many people come out this early on a Saturday morning to do work for our community. I mean really, honestly, my heart is full,” said Jenny Wilson, United Way executive director. “When you do an event like this — this is our first one — you never know if it’s just going to be the five people who planned it just staring at each other, so to have 40 volunteers, such a diverse mix, that’s just amazing.”

Day of Action is a nationwide United Way event that takes place on or around June 21. According to the website, the event provides opportunities to “fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community.”

Day of Action in Paris provided home repair services to families who were unable to work on their homes due to physical or financial limitations. United Way board member Kandace Davidson said the goal was to prevent homelessness and help keep families in their homes. Repairs on Saturday included everything from broken toilets to gas lines.

Joan Moore, member of the United Way homelessness board, said it was an awesome volunteer position.

“It’s rewarding, it’s awesome to see the expression on somebody’s face when they come out and see their house,” she said.

Wesley Cedillo, a site volunteer, said it made him feel good to give back to the community.

“I know in my past I wasn’t the best person, and knowing I can help somebody else that is a lot better than me that doesn’t deserve half the stuff that’s going on, that makes me feel better,” he said. “Me being a part of it feels good.”

Homeowner Zo Lane said she appreciated all of the volunteers’ hard work as they replaced the floorboards in her bedroom and living room. She said she had been staying with her son, and while volunteers told her the project will most likely take several days, she said she was excited to move back into her house once the floors were finished.

“I’m very grateful,” she said. “I thank Mr. Keith and Mr. Tim, and I’m excited to come home.”

Macon Atkinson is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6963 or macon.atkinson@theparisnews.com.

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