Dunwoody UMC Returns for a Brush with Kindness

Atlanta Habitat Homeowner of 21 years Reunites with Volunteers

ATLANTA – Longstanding Atlanta Habitat for Humanity house sponsor, Dunwoody United Methodist Church, returned to the first house its member volunteers built in 1995 to help homeowner Mary Ann Melvin make some minor repairs on October 22.

“It’s a just a blessing. Atlanta Habitat has been so good to me,” shared Melvin as volunteers from Dunwoody UMC helped to paint her home—again, but this time a pale pink, one of Melvin’s favorite colors. Melvin clearly remembers that was 21 years ago when she bought her Atlanta Habitat house. Melvin and the Dunwoody UMC reunion credit Atlanta Habitat’s program, a Brush with Kindness. It is a home preservation effort that helps Atlanta Habitat homeowners who have remained in good standing with their mortgages but live on a limited budget—keep their houses in a safe and livable condition.

For sponsors and volunteers like Dunwoody UMC, the program also builds on the friendship that they created with Ms. Melvin more than two decades ago. 

“It’s a joy to see Mary Ann again and this brings back some terrific memories for our church. To come back, it’s poignant for us,” said Jack Whitley, who has coordinated the builds on behalf of Dunwoody UMC since 1995.

Approximately 20 volunteers, along with Melvin, cleaned the exterior, replaced outdoor lighting, and more before applying a fresh coat of exterior paint to the three-bedroom and two-bathroom home in Atlanta’s Reynoldstown neighborhood.  

The church has sponsored and built 26 Atlanta Habitat homes from funds raised at its annual holiday festival. The 2015 festival netted enough to sponsor a house build and a Brush with Kindness repair this year.

“I’m preparing to retire in 2018 after 25 years as certified nursing assistant. I want to make sure I got my house safe and looking good, and I’m so appreciative of Dunwoody United Methodist for always being there for me,” Melvin said.  

Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, one of more than 1,400 U.S. affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to homeownership for working families. Since 1983, volunteers from corporations and from faith-based and civic organizations have worked in partnership with qualified homebuyers to construct affordable, green, quality homes, which are then purchased through no-interest mortgages. To date, Atlanta Habitat has built and renovated more than 1,370 homes, primarily in Atlanta and South Fulton County. Visit www.atlantahabitat.org or call 404.223.5180.