With the recipient deadline now closed for this year’s Big Fix in Falmouth, Housing Assistance Corporation (HAC) is looking for volunteers willing to donate their time and energy to assist their neighbors in need for a few hours on Saturday, September 16.
Now in its eighth year, the annual day of service assembles over 200 volunteers who make small home improvements for income-eligible seniors, veterans and disabled homeowners in one community on Cape Cod. Barnstable hosted the first Big Fix in 2010. It has since been to Sandwich, Dennis, Mashpee, Yarmouth, Bourne and, last year, Brewster.
This year, HAC received a record 65 applications from homeowners seeking to be chosen as Big Fix recipients. “There was a huge response,” said HAC’s Director of Community Relations Laura Reckford. “Now we need volunteers so that we can help as many applicants as possible.”
Of those 65 applications, HAC will choose between 12 and 15 homeowners who will benefit from the work. The number of homes chosen is contingent on the number of volunteers who sign up for the Big Fix.
HAC is seeking both skilled and unskilled volunteers who are willing to donate a few hours working on such projects as landscaping; trash removal; repairing walkways, decks, stairs and fences; interior and exterior painting; replacing shingles; light carpentry; and basic plumbing and electrical repairs. The Big Fix always has a need for skilled volunteers like electricians, plumbers, roofers, and landscapers.
“I think people get a deep sense of satisfaction from the knowledge that they’ve helped someone in need and they can see the immediate fruits of their labor,” said HAC Volunteer Coordinator Mary Everett-Patriquin.
As part of this year’s Big Fix, HAC is encouraging volunteers to expand their impact even further by serving as fundraisers. Funds raised will go to offset the roughly $50,000 it costs to organize the Big Fix, and help support HAC’s programs such as homelessness prevention, foreclosure counseling, reverse mortgage counseling and weatherization programs which allow residents to remain in their homes and off the streets.
Residents can register as a Big Fix volunteer, Big Fix fundraiser, or both at www.haconcapecod.org.
HAC received a $5,000 grant from TD Charitable Foundation as well as a $4,000 grant from The Falmouth Fund of The Cape Cod Foundation towards this year’s Big Fix. As it has in previous years, the Mashpee-based nonprofit Heroes In Transition will be lending its support by funding work done on veterans’ homes.
HAC is also seeking Big Fix sponsors to defray the costs of the Big Fix. Businesses interested in a sponsorship should contact HAC event coordinator Deanna Bussiere at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 508-771-5400, ext. 270.
HAC is a 43-year-old nonprofit based in Hyannis, whose mission is to ensure that all on Cape Cod and the Islands have a safe, stable, decent place to live. HAC operates four homeless shelters on Cape Cod; develops affordable housing; oversees Section 8 vouchers for the region; conducts foreclosure counseling; holds educational workshops for first-time homebuyers and those looking to rebuild their credit; and keeps residents in their homes through its homelessness prevention program.