Sac State students participate in the 30th annual Paint the Town

Volunteers worked on homes in the Del Paso Heights community

Kelly Kiernan

Nigel Rayyan and Anthony Shorter

Sacramento State students and faculty represented the largest contingent in the 30th annual Paint the Town event Friday and Saturday.

Paint the Town is a neighborhood improvement partnership between NeighborWorks Sacramento, a local organization that supports home ownership, and the Sac State Community Engagement Center. 2019 marks the fifth year that Sac State has partnered with NeighborWorks for this event.

Paint the Town chooses one block in a neighborhood to makeover each year. 

Marisa Warnock, Volunteer and Program Specialist at the Community Engagement Center on campus, said she appreciated the amount of students who showed up. 

“It’s a great day for Sac State students to give back as well as learn from our communities,” Warnock said of the event

The center recruits about 100 Sac State students for the event each year, according to their website.

 Volunteers went to the Del Paso Heights neighborhood to wash and paint houses, pull weeds and remove broken fencing.

Cheryl Allen is a homeowner in the area and a Sac State alumna. She said she was surprised by the volunteers who worked on her home. 

“When the people came to my door last spring, it sounded like a scam.  I just kept thinking, ‘Who would do such a thing for free?’” Allen said. “I was just so jaded. Seeing this all come together makes me think, ‘This is my community. This makes us all better.’”

Allen vowed to sign up for Paint the Town next year.

Sac State President Robert Nelsen participated Saturday. 

“This is where our students come from, so if we can help them then we are helping ourselves,” he said. “This is a community that is really strong and beautiful and we want the students that are here to have the best experiences they can have.”

Anthony Shorter
President Nelsen volunteered along with Sac State students at the 30th annual Paint the Town event in Del Paso Heights on Saturday.

Sharon Eghigian, Director of Community Impact Services for NeighborWorks Sacramento, has been involved with Paint the Town for the last 12 years.

“The homeowners are thrilled, it’s so satisfying to see,” said Eghigian. “It’s amazing to see the energy and commitment of all the volunteers, we couldn’t do it without them.”

Criminal Justice major Nikhil Dahal remained in good spirits throughout the event despite being stung by a wasp while removing wood from under a neighbor’s porch.

“I volunteered because I saw this as a way to give back to the community,” Dahal said. “I like the fun, camaraderie and how everyone is helping each other. And the (homeowners are) very thankful.”

Malia Hurley, a film major, said she got involved after seeing the event advertised on campus by Mujeres Ayudando la Raza, a community service club at Sac State.

“Who else do we have but each other?” she asked. “Being middle class, you’re sheltered from people who don’t have it as good.  Ground yourself by getting involved helping people with less privilege.”