Three separate volunteer crews were out helping residents restore their homes last Saturday after being cited by Code Enforcement for violations.

The process has been taking place every Saturday morning since November of 2022 and there is actually a waiting list for Sedalia residents to be assisted by Sedalia Community Helping Hands, a non-profit organization co-founded by Traves Williams and Judge Paul Beard.

Every Saturday, a group of volunteers meets at the Open Door Kitchen-Community Cafe parking lot at 417 West Pettis, from 8:45-9:00, to divide up for the day's work sites. On Fridays, a Facebook post shows the type of work they will be doing on Saturday from 9 a.m., to noon.

According to the group's Facebook page, no experience is necessary, and Sedalia Community Helping Hands seeks both skilled and unskilled volunteers.

Williams, as well as three other volunteers, were working a site on West Cooper this past Saturday, and he spoke with KSIS about the process.

“We work on as many projects as possible (according to how many volunteers are available any given Saturday),” Williams said.

Another work crew was at a house on West 2nd Street, and yet another crew was in the backyard at 11th and Wagner. (A fourth crew finished up a project on Missouri from a previous work session).

“By the end of today, we hope to have 32 houses that will be off the City's code violations list,” Williams explained. “That's the whole idea, is to keep people in their homes.”

Williams added that “we started out once a month, then as we grew, we were able to work every weekend. We don't take any Saturdays off. Typically we have about 14 (volunteers), but we sometimes gather as many as 20 people. The more we have, the better.”

Williams noted that “if we have 25 people, we work five different jobs, because it's possible, and we discuss that at our meetings on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month.”

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Williams also noted that “Helping Hands” currently has a waiting list of about 21 properties in the City of Sedalia needing assistance from the volunteer organization.

Williams said that he is lucky to have such a dedicated group of board members and other volunteers every week. “I mean, we go beyond just our projects,” he said, calling out Lowe's Home Improvement for all their donations of materials, “because they keep us going, the Sedalia Rotary Club with their upcoming auction, and the Sedalia Business Women for their donation, adding that 100 percent of what is donated goes to the projects. Nobody receives any money. We just want to come out and help as many people as we can.”

Williams serves on a brush crew for the City of Sedalia. He's been doing that for about 10 years, and has worked for the City for a total of 19 years.

Helping Hands

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