Neighbors help neighbor in need

Published 1:02 am Sunday, June 13, 2010

NATCHEZ — Sometimes the only thing it takes to address a problem is getting everybody together to do it.

When Will and Jeanette Warren noticed a house in their neighborhood inhabited by an elderly lady had fallen into disrepair, they decided something needed to be done.

“We looked at it and said, ‘I wouldn’t let my mother live there,” Jeanette Warren said.

Parts of the back porch of the house had rotted and caved in, the house needed a lot of new paint and bushes had grown so thick around the front of the residence that Warren said you couldn’t even take a picture of the house from the street.

So the Warrens took to the street, going around their South Union Street neighborhood to collect money and any volunteer labor they could to fix up the house.

Nearly 80 percent of the money for the fix-it-up project was collected in the neighborhood, but people from other parts of town mailed checks to help when they heard about the plan, Warren said.

Saturday the group continued the repair work by painting around the house.

Everything was done without forming committees or looking for grants, Warren said.

“The message we really want to get out is that if neighbors and friends get together and did one house at a time when they saw a need, what a difference it would make,” she said.

In addition to the volunteers, Home Hardware of Natchez, Scott Construction Company and Redd Pest Control have helped or pledged help with the project.

People who live in the immediate area have been happy to do the work, Warren said.

“Everything done here may not be done professionally, but it is done with a lot of love,” she said.

Manning a paintbrush on the front porch of the residence Saturday, Faye Richardson said it was a worthwhile cause and something that needed to be done.

“I just came here to help a friend,” she said.

Richardson’s fellow painter Peggy McCall said Jeanette Warren had recruited her.

“She talked about doing this, and I said if you need any help, just let me know,” McCall said.

Other volunteers made their way to and from the site during the work hours Saturday, and Warren said she hopes other Natchez neighborhoods will emulate what their neighborhood has done at that residence.

“We have got a blessing out of helping,” she said.