By Lindy Keyser

Special to the Press

Volunteers of all ages joined the Serve Prosper campaign on Saturday in an effort to beautify down town. Together, the nearly 60 community members painted two homes, spruced up the properties and removed unsightly materials and debris.

"We did two or three of these a few years ago," said executive pastor of the First Baptist Church of Prosper, Wayne Bartley. "This was kind of a restart for us and we’d really like to see this become an annual thing."

Bartley joined Code Compliance Officer Trish Eller six months ago to begin planning Saturday’s event. Together, they went out into the community to find homes that needed a little refreshing.

"We wanted to find houses that really needed painting and repair but whose owners didn’t have the means to do so," Eller said. "I didn’t want to take action against these people because they’re trying as hard as they can. This was a great opportunity to work with all the churches and volunteers to really help them."

The two homes, sitting just off of Main Street, received multiple coats of fresh paint as well as siding repairs. Many children worked alongside their parents removing trash from the properties and painting the easy-to-reach areas.

"We talk to our children about serving others," said Michael Gilten, vicar of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. "They understand what it is that brings the adults out and so they also want to be a part of what we’re doing as a community and as a church."

The campaign kicked off at 8 a.m. on Saturday and wrapped up before noon. Chris Kinser, owner of Encore Painting, followed up with a crew Saturday afternoon to give the homes a professional once-over and final touches are scheduled for later this week.

While they dramatically improved the appearance of these two homes, volunteers said the Serve Prosper campaign was about a lot more than curb appeal.

"We’re putting hands and feet in the neighborhood to help make Prosper a better place," said Legacy Church pastor, Sam Pedigo. "It’s all about coming out and serving side by side with our neighbors, meeting people, helping a family or two and exalting Christ as we do it."