LAWTON, Okla._Four hundred volunteers from the 75th Field Artillery came together for Lawton's second annual Fresh Paint Day.
The volunteers spent the morning and part of the afternoon painting 35 homes. The project is designed to spruce up houses belonging to elderly residents, who are physically unable to do it themselves. It shows them that the community still cares.
The group of volunteers in a neighborhood on Northwest 32nd Street started at about 7:00 a.m. There were two homes on the street volunteers were working on and they wrapped up the finishing touches just before noon.
Katherine Cuzzort is one of several residents who received a fresh coat of paint. She has lived the home since 1968. She was more than grateful for the people who showed up at her doorstep.
"I was waiting on them, but I didn't know there'd be that many. And they were really efficient. I mean, they just overwhelmed everything, they did a great job and they were really, really terrific," Cuzzort said.
But the reward is not just for those getting the new paint job. The hundreds of volunteers spending their time, making a difference and making new friends are also getting the benefits. Corporal Christine Anderson says seeing the smiles on the faces of who she is helping makes her feel right at home.
"It was amazing, it felt like I was helping my own grandmother or mother. Helping her around the house, even though her family isn't around. My family isn't around, so to give it out, that's the blessing," Cpl. Anderson.
One of the men behind the Fresh Paint Day project is Lawton Councilman Jay Burk. He says the goal of the project is to make a difference in the Lawton community and people's lives. He says that goal has been achieved.
"The people I've talked to are just ecstatic because like they say, they couldn't have done it. Whether they couldn't afford it or physically can't get the work done, they are just ecstatic. They thought this would never happen for them, and so they are really happy," Burk said.
Cuzzort says the day was more than just getting her home painted, it's a memory she will hold to forever and she hopes to see them again.
"It's been a wonderful morning with everybody, a wonderful day," Cuzzort said. "I wish they could all come back and we could have a cookout or something."
The group of volunteers finished the 35 homes around 2:00 p.m. Project planners say it's time to look forward to next year.