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MB JESSEE Gives Back! Project Color 2011

MB JESSEE Gives Back! Project Color 2011
MB JESSEE Gives Back! Project Color 2011
MB JESSEE Gives Back! Project Color 2011

A remarkable happening took place this past Saturday on Dwight Way in downtown Berkeley.  At seven am nearly a dozen white vans & trucks pulled up in front of the Berkeley Food & Housing Project’s North County Women’s Shelter.  Twenty people piled onto the sidewalk, dressed in painter’s whites.  They spread out in all directions, industriously unrolling tarps and unpacking buckets, paint and supplies.  Within minutes, painters were climbing up the scaffolding and serious painting work was underway.

What was going on?  Oakland painting company, MB JESSEE Inc chose the shelter as the winner of their sixth annual Project Color 2011.  MB JESSEE hosts the painting for charity event annually, choosing a Bay Area nonprofit to receive a $10000 makeover.  Then every employee of the company donates their time and skills to complete the project in one day.   Oakland’s Mark’s Paint Mart, the Berkeley Sherwin Williams store, Century Scaffolding and interior designer Toni Berry were also on board to help MB JESSEE complete this ambitious endeavor.  

The building the shelter calls home is recognized by the city of Berkeley as a historical landmark and hadn’t been painted in decades.  Winning the contest was “a dream come true” for Executive Director Terrie Light.  Light and Office Manager Claire Banerjee choose soothing yet uplifting colors of purple, cream and sea green for the building’s exterior, mirroring the important work they do inside.  The shelter provides emergency overnight refuge for women and children and also houses a residential program to help women move permanently out of homelessness.   

By two o’clock, amazingly, it was all over.  The MB JESSEE volunteers were tired and dirty but smiled as they high-fived each other and posed for pictures.  As they stood back and admired the beautifully transformed building, some of the shelter’s residents were teary eyed.  And a few of the painters as well!

Julie Arcino
Operations Manager
MB JESSEE Inc

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