Volunteering at Casa Marianella

Last Saturday (10/19), H2O had the chance to volunteer at Casa Marianella, an emergency homeless shelter that provides housing and support for immigrants, asylum seekers, and asylees.

To find out more about Casa, please visit:  http://www.casamarianella.org/

After H2O was shown around the shelter and briefed about its history and mission, the staff at Casa asked us to help them repaint parts of their main house that either hadn’t been painted in awhile or had been in a position of frequent wear or damage. The choices of paint were interesting to say the least, but definitely gave the emergency shelter an interestingly bold and bright accent.

Happy to get out of the cold, we went inside to prepare the kitchen for new paint. With a warm, wet cloth, we wiped down surfaces including steps, banisters and doors. A few of our volunteers then scraped off thin layers of paint and wood for a smoother surfaces to paint on.

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Julia and Tima working hard to scrape off old paint

While some volunteers got to stay in the shelter of the warm house, others of us started painting outside of the house. We set to work on the door and the screen door, painting them a stunning purple and yellow, respectively. As soon as they were finished, we were able to apply a new coat of paint onto picnic tables whose paint was worn by the outside weather. The pastel purple on two of the tables was a stark contrast to the deep red of the other two!

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Shashkia applying a fresh coat of pastel purple onto picnic tables

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Vibrant colors being painted on by Thuy and Quy

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Dominique expertly finishes off the edges of the door with vibrant purple

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Traditional group photo after Casa!

By the end of our shift, several of us had forgotten about the cold and the warm sun had finally come out. Despite working mostly on the physical shelter this time, H2O volunteers had the opportunity to speak with several residents in addition to the knowledgeable staff.

We had the chance to ask a few more questions about the shelter and found out some very interesting facts about those whom it serves. As several volunteers said, you could see how community-involved the shelter was, and we enjoyed the diversity and friendliness of its staff and temporary residents.

Join us this Saturday to volunteer at HopeFest. Get on our listserv (e-mail h2outreach@gmail.com) or our facebook page to find out more!

-T

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