Paint A Thon

Once a year, in October, millions of students and teachers, from many high schools across the nation, volunteer at the “Paint- A-Thon.” The volunteers paint elderly homes that have low income and cannot afford to pay a professional painter to paint their homes. Companies, like Wells Fargo Bank, donated the supplies and we supplied the labor. I participated in painting an elderly woman’s home. The woman’s name that we painted the house for was Sunshine. That day opened my eyes to what the world outside of me was.

“Okay guys, I am going to put the signup sheet on the back table,” Mrs. Green yelled on top of our voices as we were working on class work. She has been talking about the “Paint-A-Thon,” for the entire month. She showed the class numerous pictures from the years before ours to encourage us, the students, to volunteer and any other friends that we wanted to bring were welcome. I really hesitated signing up because I knew that on Saturday I had something far better to do. I had to put myself behind the needs of others. My palms were sweating profusely as I approached the signup sheet. Weeks went by and it was time to volunteer.

“Duy, wake up, it’s seven o’clock,” my mom said to me as she walked by my room.

“Aww…” I groaned loudly in my bed. I got read and went to Washington High School to meet everyone. When Mrs. Green told us the location of the woman’s home, I knew that the neighborhood was going to be bad. As we approached, my jaw completely dislocated and dropped. The house was breaking down and dirty. Its paint was peeling, the colors did not match, and the yard had many dead plants. I understand that she is elderly, that she is not able to tend to her home. But this needed a major fixer upper. We unloaded our materials and were given an explanation of what we were going to do for the next six hours. I started by opening and stirring the pant buckets. Already, I was the first to get paint onto myself.

“Duy, how do you get paint on yourself?” Mrs. Green questioned me angrily and jokingly. After that, I filled my fellow classmates’ paint trays. Since I was taller than most people there, Mrs. Green decided that I am to paint the high spots. As time went by, I left it to one of my friends to paint, and I went to plant flowers in the flowerbed. Our class wanted to replace the dying plants with new ones. We did not finish painting but we did a job well done so far. A week later a different group of students came back with Mrs. Green and her husband to finish.

On that day, I learned that I should put myself after those less fortunate. In the beginning, the house looked atrocious, but we made it looked even more amazing. There are not any words to explain how beautiful it was. I wish that I was able to see Sunrise’s expression when she saw her home. In my heart and mind, I felt great that I helped somebody that was not a friend or someone I knew.





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