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Matthew 25’s Transform Week helping neighbors rise up

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Volunteers pour paint outside Jennifer Leavy's house on G Avenue Northwest

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) - For some people, it's a fence that needs a few more slats. For others, it's a porch that needs repainting. For all of them, it's something that makes homeowners more proud of where they live.

But for many people in West Cedar Rapids, there's an obstacle to completing these home renovations.

"This is a project that was beyond my scope of abilities," Jennifer Leavy said, a single mom with a damaged porch.

Leavy has had to spend money other places and hasn't been able to replace the rotten boards or peeled paint on her front porch.

For one week every year, Matthew 25 in Cedar Rapids musters all the volunteers it can to transform a neighborhood.

"I think it means a lot that the people in the community care about each other and are willing to help out," Jill Vauthrin Brand said, one of the 150 volunteers.

The volunteers are working on 20 homes throughout the Taylor and Time Check neighborhoods this week. When Leavy saw help arriving Tuesday, she was overwhelmed with gratitude.

"The people that come here have just blessed me incredibly. The work they put in has been above and beyond, they don't just go to a point that's good enough," Leavy said.

While she was receiving assistance on Tuesday, Leavy volunteered in both of Matthew 25's Transform Weeks last year. They held one in late August and one in October, mainly helping pick up from the August 10 Derecho.

The organization says this truly is an example of the community raising itself up.

The group is still taking volunteers for the rest of the week. Anyone interested can sign-up online, or show up to the Urban Farm at 437 G Ave NW between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m.

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Travis Breese

Reporter, Iowa City

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