BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — Painting, yard work and gardening aren't usually the way some people would choose to spend a holiday weekend.
However, instead of boating, grilling or beaching, that's exactly what members of the Alpha Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity did this Memorial Day weekend.
Several members of the fraternity gathered at the home of an 87-year-old woman in Boynton Beach to repaint the house and replant the yard.
It's part of the fraternity's Curb Appeal project, which began in 2020 to ease the burden on caretakers as they care for a loved one.
"Our elderly, they can't do the same things they used to do, so they have caregivers, and so we help the caregivers that can't afford to do certain things, like painting their homes," said Vincent Jones, a member of the Delray Beach fraternity for more than 30 years.
Jones and the others said caring for someone full-time can make it hard to care for yourself and your own home, something fraternity member Dwayne Randolph said he knows firsthand.
"Having had the opportunity to care for an elderly, aging parent before, I really kind of understand what it’s like," Randolph said.
The other compounding issue, according to the fraternity, is the cost of home upkeep, something many fraternity members know from experience.
"I came up poor. [Fraternity member] Ricky [Petty] came up poor," the fraternity's chaplain, Larry Davis, said. "You know, you just can't afford it."
"We felt compelled to just beautify her home," Petty added.
Fraternity members also said it's a chance to set the example for others, including the college students in their fraternity, and the rest of the community.
"It's not easy, but it's worth it," Jones said. "If we lead by example, assist them in this way, we can brighten our community across Palm Beach County."
In 2023, LAA has committed to painting and enhancing the landscaping of 10 properties in Boynton Beach. This home marked their fifth out of 10.
The project is made possible due to a $49,000 grant from Healthier Boynton, which partnered with the fraternity, along with the city of Boynton Beach and Pathway to Prosperity.