Summer Five Of The Refresh Painting Program Was Back In Our Community This July

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 Refresh is an exciting project of Ephraim’s Place, a community center associated with the Emmanuel Church of the Nazarene, that takes place over one week every summer.  It involves volunteers coming together to paint the homes of those living in Toronto Community Housing.  With paint brushes in hand, volunteers spend the day painting homes while getting to know the family and others in the community.  This year’s motto was “It’s not about the paint, but it is about the paint, but it’s not about the paint”.Over 100 volunteers spent the week of July 9-13 painting approximately 70 homes in the Driftwood neighbourhood.  Majority of the volunteers were from churches in America that decided to be a part of the project after hearing about the experience in the Shoreham neighbourhood.  Volunteers came from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Tennessee.  The project also saw volunteers from various churches and organizations here in Toronto get involved including teachers from the TCDSB.In its fifth year, the project had a total of 700 volunteers take part to refresh several different sites across the GTA.  Over 250 homes were painted in different neighbourhoods in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon.  For the first time the project painted homes outside of Toronto.  Ephraim’s Place partnered with the Region of Peel and Peel Living to expand the program into Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon.Five years ago when Ephraim Brown was caught in the crossfire of a gang shooting and killed we saw the way the community came together to support the Brown family.  We decided to come up with a way to bring the community together the same way for something positive.  As a result, Refresh was created.  Five years later, volunteers from all over North America are painting homes and getting to know families all across the GTA in an effort to do as the name “Ephraim” suggests – find blessing from adversity.You can watch the recap video of Refresh 2012 which took place from July 9-13 at www.ephraimsplace.com/refresh.  The woman talking at the beginning of the video is Ephraim’s sister Amiga Taylor who is thanking the 400 volunteers from America for coming to be a part of Refresh 2012 at the Refresh kickoff which was held at Emmanuel Church of the Nazarene.  She is standing next to Ephraim’s mother Lorna Brown and nephew Moziah Taylor.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8Whv1AMJGo&hd=1For more information about the project or to volunteer next year email refresh@ephraimsplace.com.