New volunteers join in as Brush Up Mac spreads clean up events through May

C. Jayden Smith

This year’s edition of the annual “Brush Up Mac” event sponsored by the McPherson Housing Coalition looked different than in previous years. But in pivoting to accommodate COVID-19 recommendations, new volunteers were able to take part. 

Previously, the more than 300 volunteers would gather for breakfast before heading out to complete small repairs and other upkeep for senior homeowners. 

“What we decided to do was spread it out a little bit, so we let teams pick their own day, and then they went out into the community on days that worked for them,” said executive director of the coalition Chris Goodson.  

Starting on March 27, teams have gone out every weekend to do their service.  

Goodson said teams were able to participate that could not do so before because the single day for the event did not work for them. 

“Unfortunately for us, it is a lot harder to run it multiple days,” she said. “But we got it to work, and the families are getting the help they need, so that is what’s important.”  

The last team is scheduled for May 21, but it is possible that more people will “come out of the woodwork” to lend a hand, Goodson said.  

Members of the Church of Christ participate in this year's "Brush Up Mac" event.

Teams as small as two and as large as 60 signed up. 

The team of 60 was assigned five houses, and it took them only two hours to complete all the necessary repairs.  

Most years, volunteers paint, clear debris, clean gutters, and other various jobs for 25 to 30 houses during Brush Up Mac.

Whenever extra people raise their hands to join the cause, it can be hard to keep track of all the moving parts, Goodson said, but there is always something to do.  

“If you look around, it’s not really hard to find a neighbor or somebody who could use some yard cleanup or some minor repair,” Goodson said.  

The feedback from participants was all positive, and people enjoyed the opportunity to get outside.  

“It’s an amazing program, and we’ve been lucky that it’s been around for so long, that we’re still able to maintain it,” she said. “People are really still willing to volunteer."