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Local

Wanted: homes in need of a coat of paint, and teens willing to wield a paintbrush

STERLING – If your house could use a new coat of paint, but it just isn’t in the budget, or if you physically aren’t up to the task, Sauk Valley Unite is looking for you.

Sauk Valley Unite is a house-painting mission for kids in grades eight through 12 who will be painting exteriors of five homes in Sterling and Rock Falls – free of charge – June 5 through 8.

The homeowners, who must apply for the service, will be able to choose their own colors, organizer Rana Smith said.

Seven area churches have united to form this mission: Bethel Reformed, St. Paul’s Lutheran, Sterling St. John’s Lutheran, First Presbyterian, First Christian, and Grace Episcopal, all in Sterling, and Emmanuel Lutheran in Rock Falls.

It’s the first year of what the group plans to turn into a yearly effort, Smith said, adding that it’s modeled after a similar effort in Fulton that’s been in place for several years.

Sauk Valley Unite is starting with five houses and, it is hoped, at least 50 kids.

Many will be members of the churches’ youth groups, but any teen interested in community service and who will be going into the eighth grade up through senior year next school year is invited to sign up, Smith said.

Students will be assigned painting crews, and each crew will paint one house over the course of the 3 days.

While on paint patrol, the kids will be staying at Bethel Reformed, 230 E 23rd St.. A full slate of worshipping and games will be part of the experience, and musician Rachel Kurtz (rachelkurtz.org) will perform and speak.

The Sterling Park District is partnering with the effort by offering the teens the use of the showers across the street at the Duis Recreation Center.

So far, three homes in Sterling have been chosen, so Rock Falls homeowners are particularly encouraged to apply. If your home isn’t chosen this year, it might be put on a list for next year, Smith said.

You also don’t have to be the homeowner to apply – homes can be nominated for the service via the application.

There is a cost to participate: $50 per student and $25 per adult leader, to help pay for meals and such.

Sauk Valley Unite also is looking for business sponsors and individual donors to help pay for tools and materials.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Applications and more information are available at saukvalleyunite.org or at Sauk Valley UNITE on Facebook, or contact Smith at ranasmith@live.com or 815-718-5633, and she will fill you in on all the details, and even send you an application, or drop one off.

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