The girls who call Jesse’s House home returned from school Thursday to a big surprise.
About 50 volunteers from Keller Williams and the real estate company’s partner vendors spent most of the day working at the house while the residents were away.
Jesse’s House is a long-term residential facility for girls ages 7 to 17. It currently houses seven girls ages 13 to 17.
As part of Keller Williams’ annual RED Day, in which employees and partners go out into the community to help charitable organizations, the volunteers painted all the walls of Jesse’s House with bright colors.
They also bought each girl a new colorful comforter and sheet set, which they placed on their beds.
Shakaria Evans, Jesse’s House program director, said none of the girls knew the volunteers were coming.
“[The girls] are going to come home and say, ‘Oh my gosh, what happened,’” Evans said. “For me, the biggest thing is knowing how much the girls are going to love this.”
Short for “Renew, Energize and Donate,” RED Day was created to unite Keller Williams Realty offices and associates in an international day of service. Nancy Quinn, an agent with the office, enjoys the annual event.
“When you work with buyers and sellers all year long, this is our day to have fun,” she said.
Theresa Atkinson works with Liberty Mutual, but as a vendor partner of Keller Williams was invited to take part. She said she wanted to give back to Jesse’s House.
“It breaks your heart when you come in here and realize how fortunate you are and your kids are to have a good environment,” said Atkinson, who has a teenage daughter and two sons.
“This is a good way to try to give back because we are so blessed.”
For Evans, the volunteers’ efforts were “overwhelming.”
“It’s always very heartwarming when we get such a large response to what our needs are,” she said. “It’s amazing. I can’t even really describe how much it means.”