Matthew 25 focuses on long-term, derecho repairs during Transform Week

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 6:47 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Jennifer Leavy has lived in her 100-year-old home on the northwest side of Cedar Rapids for the past four years, so repairs were inevitable. She was one of the recipients of Matthew 25′s Transform Week program, aimed at helping low-income households.

“Today, volunteers are working on my front porch. I had some rotted boards, and they’ve come through and replaced those boards. They are working on painting and making it so it can last another hundred years,” Leavy said.

Leavy said this is the second time, they helped her.

“As a single parent, it is really hard to be able to find resources or tap into having projects like this done. I can only do so much on my own,” Leavy said.

Leavy said it would have taken years to save up to get the work done.

This year, Transform Week is focused on investing in neighborhoods with more long-term projects. Derecho damage is a key part of that. Ben Lohr is among those helping with repairs.

“There’s been a lot of the derecho clean-up. We’ve been helping kind of bolster this home up here so they have a lot more support, and doing a lot of painting,” Lohr said.

This is Lohr’s first year on Transform Week, inspired by the derecho.

“I lost two trees at my home. I’ve been volunteering in any derecho-related service that I can just because of that,” Lohr said.

In total, the week will help in 20 homes, including Leavy’s.

“To have these amazing people come in give up their time, but also their love to work on my house has just been such an incredible blessing,” she said.

Leavy is now planning to pay it forward and volunteer next year.

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