May 02, 2018

Nonprofit gives fresh coat of paint to homes in need

In 2017, two Paint Your Heart Out volunteers receive training and professional assistance throughout the process of painting the exterior of a home.|Corinne Piazza poses with a group of volunteers from the Young Realtors.  Photos courtesy of NeighborWorks Salt Lake|||| In 2017, two Paint Your Heart Out volunteers receive training and professional assistance throughout the process of painting the exterior of a home.|Corinne Piazza poses with a group of volunteers from the Young Realtors. Photos courtesy of NeighborWorks Salt Lake|||| |||||

By Corinne Piazza

NeighborWorks Salt Lake is a local nonprofit organization that has served the community for over 40 years with a mission to revitalize neighborhoods, house by house, block by block, neighbor by neighbor.

One of the many ways NeighborWorks has brought its mission to life is through the annual Paint Your Heart Out event. Every August over 150 volunteers from local businesses, community organizations and corporations come together to paint the homes of the elderly, individuals with disabilities, veterans and limited-income homeowners on Salt Lake City’s west side.

Since the event’s inception in 1985, NeighborWorks has painted over 810 homes in the community. The goal of helping homeowners who cannot physically or financially paint their home themselves has many positive impacts, not just for the house itself, but for everyone involved.

Bob Lund, construction manager and employee of 14 years for Neighborworks, has seen the ripple effects year after year.

“By helping beautify just one home, the homeowners feel like a valued part of their community, the neighbors get inspired to spruce up their homes, too, and the volunteers know they can truly make a difference for others,” Lund said.

It takes a lot of time, resources and labor for the PYHO event to come to fruition. Thanks to NeighborWorks’s dedicated sponsors, staff, and volunteers such as the Rose Park Lions Club, it is possible to provide this service for free to homeowners. Surprisingly, one of the biggest challenges is getting homeowners to sign up as a free paint job can sound too good to be true. NeighborWorks works closely with partners and volunteers to assist with the home recruiting process so residents learn about the opportunity from a trusted friend like a homeowner’s neighbor.

This year, the 33rd Annual Paint Your Heart Out event is happening on Saturday, August 11. NeighborWorks Salt Lake is already gearing up for the event with a goal of painting 15 homes. To suggest a home that needs to be painted on the west side, please visit

www.nwsaltlake.org/paintyourheartout.

Corinne Piazza was the former Community Engagement Coordinator for NeighborWorks Salt Lake.