On Saturday, March 2, a team of more than 30 people representing H.J. Holtz & Son joined with other volunteers from the Richmond chapter of the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America (PDCA) to do what they do best: paint a space.
The space in question – a church fellowship hall, two hallways and two stairwells – is used by the McShin Foundation, a Richmond nonprofit that serves individuals and families in their fight against substance use disorders. Organizers agree a facelift was needed.
“It was dingy-looking,” says James Herbert, a board member of the Richmond PDCA and owner of Envirowash. “The walls had off-white paint, and the trim was reddish-brown. It was ugly.”
Adds John Shinholser – co-founder of the McShin Foundation and a former painting contractor himself – “We have more than 70,000 consumer visits a year, so we are constantly in need of painting and cosmetics. A healthy paint job creates a healthy environment.”
The Richmond PDCA chapter undertakes one or two charity painting projects every year. Herbert says it was an easy decision to direct their energy toward the Hatcher Memorial Baptist Church space that is leased by the McShin Foundation. “It is a very unique recovery center,” he says. “They help young people, old people, families. And because Hatcher Memorial has done a tremendous job of giving to the community, [The foundation] wanted to do something in return.”
While the main effort happened Saturday, two volunteers from W.W. Nash & Sons did prep work on Friday, patching holes, sanding and starting on the trim work. At 6 a.m. Saturday, Rick Holtz arrived at the church to organize the paint – donated by Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams – and develop a plan of attack. By 7 a.m., the full volunteer team of nearly 70 people were at work.
“They knocked it out, Herbert says. “They were done in four hours.” Herbert says it was impressive to watch the synchronized effort, which in one area meant a worker using a telescopic sandpaper disc to prep the wall was followed closely by another volunteer who wiped the surface clean. Immediately after, someone else applied paint with a roller. “The paint is only as good as the preparation,” Herbert notes.
Holtz says participating in charitable projects is part of the culture the company seeks to foster.
“We get to work together for a common goal,” he says. “It’s nice to make a difference for others who need help.”
Shinholser couldn’t be more grateful. “Our mission is all about healing families and saving lives,” he says. “Nobody funds our operations. Any money we don’t have to spend in maintenance is money we can spend on lives saved, and families healed.”