The home of Henry and Pansy Perry — once known as the "Kool-Aid" house in the 2100 block of Lee Street, where neighborhood children once gathered and played — will be filled with the hustle and bustle of about 100 volunteers on Thursday who will lend a hand to help make some needed repairs.
"This house is as old as I am and I'm 55," said Kevin Perry, one of Henry and Pansy Perry's four children. "I came home from the hospital to this house. For the most part it needs plumbing and electrical upgrades and some other (major) repairs."
The house holds special memories for the couple who were Risely High School sweethearts. He was a letterman in football and basketball. She was voted Ms. Risely High and was valedictorian of her senior class.
Active participants in their community and at Shiloh Baptist Church, Henry retired from the Brunswick Pulp and Paper company and Pansy from the Glynn-Brunswick Memorial Hospital.
The homeowners applied for services through the City of Brunswick's Community Development Minor, Major Home Repair program. Funds for the program are provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant.
"They originally only applied to have painting done and a water pressure treatment for the (outside) of the house," said Shauntia Lewis who oversees the city's CDBG program funds. "After the initial inspection conducted by the city, we found there were other needs to be addressed (such as) roofing, electrical and plumbing."
According to Lewis, everything seemed divinely inspired as things fell into place for the Perry's home project. After making the announcement at a Chamber of Commerce meeting that 100 volunteers, part of the Harvest Church 2016 Man Camp retreat, were coming to provide mission service work, not only did Lewis get the volunteers she needed, but business and nonprofit organizations also responded.
"We like to serve and found out about the Perry home through Epworth by the Sea, a Christian conference and retreat center overlooking the Frederica River on St. Simons Island," said Will Perez, communications director for Harvest Church, a United Methodist congregation.
The Harvest Church group plans to be in Brunswick at about 1 p.m. on Thursday.
"A lot of the men are blue collar workers with their own contracting, construction and landscaping businesses and they are ready to go," Perez said. "They will do demolition work, pour gravel, re-shingle the roof and move a fence (on the side of the house) to extend the family's property line."
The Brunswick High School football team and the College of Coastal Georgia Men's basketball team will also lend a hand on the back end of the project and will move the family back into the home once all the work is done.
Businesses that provided donations include Georgia Power, Seaboard Construction, Ammons Awnings and Handrails, Nitro Signs and Services, Lang Building Supply, Peachtree Pest Control and Overhead Door Company of Brunswick.
The Perrys will move out of their home so the work can be done and will stay at the Benton House of Brunswick, an assisted living facility. As they've grown older, they are now dealing with health issues. Pansy has dementia and is under the ever watchful eye of Henry and care-givers.
A handicap ramp was installed at the home about six to eight weeks ago.
"I'm grateful to have all the volunteers," Henry said as he sat next to his wife.
For more information about the Minor, Major Home Repair program, please contact Brunswick City Manager Jim Drumm at 912-267-5500.
Photo by Rob Novit of The News
Henry and Pansy Perry will get help from a large group of volunteers this week to repair their home, thanks to help from the Community Development Block Grant in Brunswick.