HENDERSON COUNTY–Henderson County is very fortunate to have many civic minded clubs and businesses. One outstanding example is the Southwest Water (SWW) Co. They have recently initiated a new policy that allows employees to take one day a year to volunteer with any charitable organization and it will be considered a regular work day.
July 15 held a unique experience for Labor of Love (LOL). How, you ask? “Well we took advantage of the SWW new policy of allowing employees to volunteer” said LOL President Roy Talbot. SWW, in allowing each of their employees to perform volunteer work creates a win for the community, certainly a win for any charitable organization having access to young talented people and a win in our case for the home owner. “Labor of Love plans to take advantage of this program several times a year” Talbot said.
Thomas Johnson grew up in the Dallas area, graduated MacArthur High School in Irving, joined the Navy in 1969 and served on the Coral Sea Aircraft Carrier. After his discharge he was a barber for 30 years. He and his wife Julee bought the home in Dec 2018. Thomas has some serious health issues causing him to make frequent trips to V.A. hospital.
Thomas and Julee were in need of some help with maintaining their home – enter a crew from SWW Co. and an LOL project manager. The team was comprised of three workers from SWW Co, John Salmans, Jr., Charlie Barr and David Walker and Roy Talbot from LOL.
“We all joined hands and John opened with a prayer reminding us of who we are and whose we are – adopted children of a heavenly Father. We then broke into two teams of two to work in the hot, humid temperatures of a Texas summer,” Talbot said.
One team tackled removing a broken back window and replacing it with a new large window (54L x 36W). Replacing the window would have been easy effort except for the fact it was two stories up because of backyard sloping away. The other team installed two ceiling fans and repaired a broken light switch in the bathroom, all done under the watchful eye of Thomas.
“For the Labor of Love it is a match made in heaven. Having access to young men who are mechanically inclined for the more difficult jobs is certainly a huge blessing” Roy Talbot said.
Henderson County can take great pride in having people like the men from SWW Co. Thomas and Julee were thrilled with the finished effort as evidenced by the smiles on their faces and saying thank you numerous times.
The Labor of Love is a United Way agency of Henderson County and a faith-based volunteer organization with a mission to provide home repairs free of charge to the handicapped, indigent elderly, single mothers and grandmothers raising grandchildren across Henderson County. Examples of repair or modification of homes made year round include: construction of wheelchair ramps, installing grab bars, widening bathroom entrances, repairing leaking faucets and roofs, holes in floors and windows, etc. LOL has 30 years of home repair experience with a focus on health and safety issues that enables people to continue living independent lives
“We take great pride in our 2018 accomplishments. Our all-volunteer organization worked hard, long hours in good weather and bad, expending 3,381 hours to complete 151 projects. Included was the construction of 34 wheelchair ramps and the repair or replacement of 27 roofing projects” Talbot said.
“Our accomplishments are due to God blessing us with the financial means to continue growing through the faithfulness and generosity of our sponsors, and willing volunteers. Henderson County is fortunate to have such dedicated and willing people who like the men and women from Southwest Water Co. who take time from their busy lives to help the less fortunate within our community,” he added.
The Labor of Love serves the people of Henderson County from Chandler to Trinidad. Those who need assistance can call (903) 675-LOVE and ask for an application to be mailed to them. We’ll take it from there. If you would like to join the team of volunteers, please call the same number and request a phone call.