Churches Fix Up Chatham Home For Elderly Woman

Backyard Mission 2018. (Photo courtesy of Mike Maroney).

Two local churches teamed up this weekend to give a home in Chatham’s south end a face-lift for an elderly woman with health issues.

For the last ten years, First Presbyterian and First Christian Reformed Churches have organized the Backyard Mission Project in Chatham.

Reverend Mike Maroney, minister at First Presbyterian Church in Chatham, says each year, a group of volunteers dedicates two days to doing repairs to a house and property of a deserving homeowner in the community with financial need.

This year’s project took place on Friday and Saturday at the home of Dorothy Forsyth. Maroney says Dorothy is a lovely elderly woman that has been struggling with some health issues that have impacted her mobility.

“This particular year, we’ve rebuilt a ramp, we’ve rebuilt a porch and railing, we are doing a lot of landscaping, we’ve scraped and painted a garage, and we’ve painted about 20 feet of fence,” explains Maroney.

Maroney says the crew didn’t let the rain stop them from finishing up the landscaping on Saturday and putting the finishing touches on the house.

He says it’s heart warming to see how touched people are to see their house be fixed up.

“They’re simply amazed that people come in and do all of this for free,” says Maroney. “There are no strings attached. We’re not trying to make anyone to come to a church or anyone like this. We are simply doing this out of our love of Jesus Christ and to serve him in the community.”

Maroney says the nomination process begins in January or February of each year.

“Surprisingly, sometimes we find it difficult to get nominations. People just think that it’s too good to be true or there must be catch,” he says.”But it’s really quite straightforward.”

Maroney says anyone can apply for the program.

“If you have a financial need, you can nominate a friend or you can nominate yourself. You can nominate whoever you want,” says Maroney. “What we ask is that the person has to be the homeowner and have insurance. We’re not asking for a lot of detail, but we want to know what is the financial need and why is this particular person being nominated.”

More information about the Backyard Mission program can be found online.