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Sandy Journal

At your service: Volunteers paint and clean up yards for two Sandy homeowners

Aug 06, 2019 12:48PM ● By Heather Lawrence

At your service! Rachel Caselin, far left, poses proudly with her team of volunteers in front of a Sandy resident’s fence they painted. Caselin works for Zions Bank and participated in the annual Paint-a-Thon service week in June.

By Heather Lawrence | [email protected]

Each year, Zions Bank employees participate in a community Paint-a-Thon project. This June, two Sandy homeowners received help with the upkeep of their homes and yards from employees and family members of employees of Zion’s Bank. 

“We start by asking community leaders, ecclesiastical leaders and others in the community about who might need help. They know what’s going on in their neighborhoods,” said Rachel Caselin, a commercial underwriter for Zion’s Bank and team captain for one of the Sandy projects. 

During the week of June 10–15, Caselin and her crew donned T-shirts and jeans and worked several nights after work painting and doing yard work for a selected neighbor. 

“Over the previous 28 years, Zions employees have volunteered their time and talents after work and on Saturdays for a week each summer to clean, repair and paint the homes of more than 1,182 low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners throughout Idaho and Utah,” said Casilen. 

The week turned into a mini party for Caselin’s group. They brought in dinner from local places each night and spent time with coworkers and their family members in a different setting. “I feel satisfied contributing to something that helps the community and satisfied to work with our coworkers in completing a project outside the office,” said Natalie Merrill, a credit analyst with Zions. 

“We’ve enjoyed getting to know (the) homeowner and learn more about our community. It is rewarding to participate in any service project. This one is unique, and it’s nice to be a part of an event with such a storied legacy,” Merrill said. 

In another Sandy neighborhood, homeowner Lisa Wilson said she loved having the crew from Zion’s help her by painting her house. “They were just amazing. They let me choose the color, but they brought all the gear and set up and everything,” Wilson said.  

Wilson, who is raising her grandson, said she was baffled when she got a call asking if she’d like the Zions crew to come help. “It was a shock because I don’t ever win anything. They were really nice people, and I’m sad that it’s over and they’re gone,” Wilson said. 

Jolyn Chelak, manager of the Daybreak branch, and Tim Masias, executive banking relationship manager, were the team captains for Wilson’s project. Chelak recruited her husband to come along and help and she and another coworker quickly bonded with Wilson.  

“I was so surprised that people would come do this. Those two ladies and their husbands were just amazing. They fixed up things that I didn’t think were included, and stressed how concerned they were about getting things done to help me. They were really sweet,” said Wilson.  

Wilson said she enjoyed their company as much as she did the work on the house. “Everyone was friendly, and we all laughed a lot and got some really funny pictures,” Wilson said.  

All the fun at Wilson’s house attracted attention from neighbors. “One of my neighbors told me it looked really good. (One team) brought extra pizza and gave it to my neighbors. They cared about everyone in the surroundings and invited anyone who was out to come over and eat with us,” said Wilson. 

Rob Brough, executive vice president of Zions Bancorporation, said he’s proud of the more than 35,000 volunteers who’ve been involved since the Paint-a-Thon started in 1991. “However, the real success of Paint-a-Thon lies in the connections it creates between people and the value it adds to our communities.”

Zions has every intention of continuing this project. “Zions employees look forward to this service project every year and find tremendous satisfaction in transforming the homes and yards of their elderly, veteran and disabled neighbors in need. We have employees who have participated for 10, 20 and almost 30 years, and we plan for Paint-a-Thon to continue for many decades to come,” Brough said. 

Wilson said this experience taught her there are people out there who do really care about others in their community. “This has changed my (opinion) on people who are professionals. It was nice to see all the professional people come out and just be humans, and socialize with someone who (lives on a fixed income). It really changed my thoughts,” Wilson said.