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Belmont Helps Paint ‘A Brush with Kindness’

For the second consecutive year, Belmont University partnered with area churches, businesses and Habitat for Humanity to renovate the home of someone in need.

Belmont Church, Greater Christ Temple, John Wesley United Methodist Church, Kayne Avenue Missionary Baptist Church, Mount Gilead Missionary Baptist Church, Southside Community Church, Tabernacle of Glory Baptist Church, Fifth Third Bank, Energizer and baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. contributed to the project. Belmont University donated $7,500 to the project and plans to have its students renovate another house in South Nashville in the fall.

Together volunteers from the organizations renovated the East Nashville home of William Montgomery over four days, adding new siding, caulking holes, sealing the home against water, removing peeling paint, painting the house blue with beige columns, working on landscaping and fencing and replacing wood framing. They celebrated the project’s completion with a block party on June 2 and a home dedication on June 3.

Montgomery said his home was falling apart, and because he has suffered a heart attack and stroke and lives on a fixed income, he was unable to make repairs or even keep brush from overgrowing. Although unable to assist with renovations, Montgomery served refreshments to volunteers and offered words of encouragement.

“It was a blessing from the Lord. I was sitting on the porch one day, and Eric from Habitat from Humanity came by and said, ‘You look like you could use some help,” said Montgomery, who has lived in his house on Eastmoreland Street for 15 years. “I appreciate them helping me because I have been very depressed and all of the sponsors, churches and Habitat for Humanity have given me a blessing. They even gave me an American flag for the porch. Now people have been coming by all week and asking if this is the same house.”

A Brush with Kindness is a beautification and revitalization program for low-income and elderly homeowners. In 2011, dozens of Belmont students, faculty and staff volunteered their labor in repairing and restoring the properties, working on exterior maintenance and revitalization on the four homes located in the Edgehill community. The program serves homeowners who struggle with maintenance and helps them reclaim their homes with pride and dignity. Improvements are made at no cost to the homeowners.

“A Brush with Kindness is a program designed to help existing homeowners with low income who couldn’t otherwise make repairs necessary to their home – to provide a good, safe and healthy home environment,” Habitat For Humanity Chief Operating Officer Ralph Knauss told WSMV.