On the weekend of October 22-23, approximately 30 members and friends from Church of the Holy Cross participated in “Operation Fix-It,” a community project to substantially repair and remodel a home located in central Mount Pleasant. This home, which was occupied by multiple generations of one family, had no hot water, was operating with no stove, and was in a serious state of disrepair.
The church participation, spearheaded by the Rev. Deacon Skip Reitmeier, was organized in cooperation with East Cooper Faith Network. Deacon Skip was proud of the diligence exhibited by the Holy Cross work crews over the two days, and he said, “This is a larger project than just our work this weekend, but we got much further in this project than anyone expected!”
Teammate Dan McNeill added, “This was a very fun and rewarding experience to help a woman in dire need of a fix-it project. All the team members were positive, helpful and filled with the Spirit to work on this community project. When you give of yourself, God multiplies your effort!”
During their two days on-site, the Holy Cross team, alongside the homeowner and her family, repainted the exterior, replumbed and replaced the hot water heater, leveled a substantial portion of the home by installing new joists and sub-flooring in one bedroom, built a laundry closet, and installed kitchen cabinets and countertops.
The Holy Cross volunteer team, consisting of both skilled and unskilled labor, worked together cooperatively to complete their requested tasks in an efficient manner. In fact, the painting of the house was not even listed on their original task list! The work crews both days had the privilege of fellowshipping and sharing lunch with the family (provided by the Holy Cross volunteer Kitchen Team).
Asked what Operation Fix-It meant to him, teammate Pat Kelly replied, “It was so nice to get back out in the world to help others after being COVID-restricted for so long! Our community of Holy Crossers showed up in heart, mind, soul and most importantly with their muscles and know-how. When we opened the day with prayer, the Holy Spirit was REALLY moving—I knew it would be such a blessed day for everyone. It was really special to have the family working right alongside us to make such needed repairs to their home. We even painted the entire house in a matter of hours—something we had not planned originally—the power of many hands working together. I really encourage everyone to come out for a day, or even a couple of hours, next time we participate. It does not matter what your skill level is—everyone can paint or pull the trigger on a caulk gun. Your heart will be full and your community will be filled with gratitude!”
Adding to that, teammate Paul Cooper stated, “It was such a joy to work with this family for a couple of days and see what the church can accomplish in short order through many hands and, relatively speaking, very low cost. Though East of the Cooper is a very affluent community, we have plenty of neighbors who could use a helping hand. What better way is there to love one another than to give away your time and skills to help a neighbor in need?”
To that, teammate DeAnna Ridley added, “My husband, Jason, and I thought it was an awesome opportunity to spread the gospel through helping our neighbors. To tangibly show God’s love and see everyone’s efforts to help is truly a blessing. There’s a saying…“Many hands make light work”…the camaraderie and skill set of friends, new and old, made this project an incredible experience!”
Church of the Holy Cross is one church with multiple campuses. Members and friends of the Holy Cross family from both the Sullivan’s Island and Daniel Island campuses participated in this Fix-It event.
East Cooper Faith Network (ECFN) is a collection of churches and faith-based organizations dedicated to creating a community where all East Cooper residents are safe, healthy and have the opportunity to realize their full potential. In keeping with that, they have two primary missions: One is to repair homes for those in need; the other is to provide a mentoring program that pairs at-risk elementary school children with a caring adult who meets with them once a week during the school year, to cultivate a love of reading. Further information is available at ecfaithnetwork.org.
By The Rev, Laura Bowman, Church of the Holy Cross, Sullivan’s Island and Daniel Island