Odessa Evans of Columbus couldn't keep the tears from flowing down her face after looking at a team of Wells Fargo volunteers give her Forest Park home a makeover on Saturday.
"I am so happy," Evans said. "I try not to cry but I can't help it."
Evans' home at 2106 Courtland Ave. was on a list for services from House of Heroes. As part of Community Super Saturday, Wells Fargo volunteers partnered with House of Heroes to help Evans, the widow of Army veteran Master Sgt. James Evans. He died on Oct. 19, 1997.
Across the state, volunteers took part in 26 activities that included improving housing during June's National Homeownership Month.
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Evans, 86, said painting and other repairs were needed while she was in the hospital.
"I say God has been good to me," she said. "They got all these people doing this for me and they didn't have to do it. They are doing some of the things I couldn't do."
Work on Evans' home started Wednesday when volunteers pressure-washed her home to clear away the old flaking paint. Painting is the biggest job for volunteers at the brick home with three bedrooms and two baths.
Greg Allmendinger, the Columbus market president at Wells Fargo, said 30 to 50 volunteers also are repairing toilets in the bathrooms and replacing sinks in the kitchen. They are cutting the grass and completing all the landscaping.
"I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday than serving our communities alongside our coworkers, friends and nonprofit partners," Allmendinger said. "We're so proud of our volunteers who are supporting the selfless work of these great organizations. Sometimes individual efforts may seem small, but when we join together we can make a huge impact on our community."
Evans said she remembers when the area was mostly woods when James Evans took her to the neighborhood and asked her to pick a house.
She said he was Airborne and serving in the Army at the time.
"I have been here a long time," she said.
Volunteers also took part in activities at Big Brothers Big Sisters and Feeding the Valley Food Bank. Similar activities were tackled in Augusta. Cities with single events included Athens, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Rome, Savannah and others.
Wells Fargo donated $115,000 to upgrade the housing of nine Georgia families by building or repairing existing homes. The majority of the work is done in partnership with the local Habitat for Humanity, which will receive $85,000.
Evans said the volunteers are doing for her what she would do for others. "I tried to help people because you don't know who is going to come in here and help you," she said.