Nearly 1,000 Wells Fargo volunteers and friends will fan out across the state of Georgia this weekend to help better lives as part of a 20-city initiative called “Super Saturday.” In Americus, Ga., headquarters of The Fuller Center for Housing, they will team up with The Fuller Center’s Americus-Sumter covenant partner to repair the Poplar Street home of 74-year-old cancer survivor Frances Haugabook.
Thad Harris, a Fuller Center homeowner and an almost daily volunteer with the Americus-Sumter Fuller Center for Housing grew up with Haugabook’s three children. He calls the widow a “pillar of the neighborhood” and praised her mothering skills, which she also used to raise four foster children.
“She’s always been nice, and she’s always been giving,” Harris said. “She just one of the nicest people in the neighborhood. Once you meet her, you’ll never forget her.”
Brett Safran directs the Americus-Sumter covenant partner and recalls his first meeting with Haugabook at her home, which is clean with a well-kept yard but is drafty and poorly insulated. Her declining health and limited Social Security has made it difficult to keep up with utility bills and make basic repairs.
“She is a really sweet lady,” said Safran, who currently is on the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure’s 3,700-mile fundraising ride from Savannah to Vancouver, B.C. “I replaced a light bulb for her when I did a home visit and repair assessment, and she baked me a cake to say thank you.”
The Wells Fargo volunteers’ main task on Super Saturday will be to replace siding on Haugabook’s drafty house and repainting with paint donated by Shiver Lumber through their “Devoe Paint a New Start” program.
Vicki Goodman, store manager for the Wells Fargo on Tripp Street, said that Wells Fargo encourages its employees to volunteer in their communities. Super Saturday is the biggest initiative in that push.
“Wells Fargo as a company has to commit so many volunteer hours across the spectrum,” Goodman said. “We pick one day as a company where the entire region will volunteer. It’s our initiative and our way to give back and put in our community service hours that we are obligated to do every year. This is one way to get a big chunk of them done. It should be a team-building experience. Every year in the past has been.”
In addition to working on Goodman’s home, Wells Fargo will present a $15,000 check to fund Saturday’s work and projects in July that will be tackled by a youth group from First United Methodist Church of Bossier City, La. The visiting youth group will be insulating Haugabook’s home and replacing the roof in addition to working on another local home.
“This is our favorite time of year,” said Awale Rage, area president for Wells Fargo. “We are honored to serve our communities in this way, and we’re proud to give to such worthy organizations.”