Volunteers give fresh coat of paint to 88-year-old woman’s Omaha home | Local News


Tenaska Vice President Bob Ramakers paints Mary Miller’s home near 48th and William Street on Saturday. He was one of more than 400 volunteers taking part in Project Houseworks’ Brush Up event.

Volunteers armed with brushes and ladders descended on the home of 88-year-old Mary Miller near 48th and William Streets on Saturday morning, ready to transform the exterior of her almost century-old house.

The volunteers, employees of Tenaska, were participating in the Brush Up event, which has been painting homes for older Omahans who cannot afford it for 31 years. In 2019, the event was taken over by Project Houseworks, a local nonprofit that supplies home renovations to seniors in need.

Brush Up repainted 24 houses Saturday with more than 400 volunteers, including teams from American Express, 3M and other organizations, said Sara Sabaliauskas, Project Houseworks’ director of marketing and development.

Miller moved into the house her parents built on William Street when she was 3 years old and returned after getting married, raising eight children there. She has no intention of leaving any time soon.

“My attitude is not fit for living in one of those places where everyone is singing hymns and waiting to be carried out,” she said of assisted living homes.

Renovations provided by Project Houseworks, including a new roof and upgrades to the front steps and walkway, have helped Miller to continue to maintain her home. Project Houseworks has been helpful and responsive to her needs, she said, and she now recommends the program to other seniors.

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