Commonly Asked Questions and Answers

What is a Paint-A-Thon?

Paint-A-Thon is a community partnership that recruits volunteers to paint the homes of low-income elderly and low income disabled homeowners. Paint-A-Thon organizes teams for the painting of the homes, and provides the teams with a qualified homeowner.

Why a Paint-A-Thon?

Paint-A-Thon in Nebraska was initiated 28 years ago by corporations in Omaha that had the vision to help those homeowners that could not maintain their homes. The idea of many people working together to accomplish the goal of scraping, priming, and painting homes is like an old fashioned “barn-raising”. It is in the spirit of “neighbor helping neighbor” that the Paint-A-Thon was born. With volunteers eager to help, Paint-A-Thon is filling a need and revitalizing neighborhoods in the Omaha Metro Area and Council Bluffs, IA.

Twenty-five years of Paint-A-Thons and what has happened?

Since 1989 Paint-A-Thon has painted the homes of 2,794 Metro Area residents. The volunteer time is more than 716,500 hours donated by over 81,000 volunteers. The financial impact to the community is immeasurable as is the positive benefit to both families and volunteers.

What corporate partners make the Paint-A-Thon possible?

The founding partners are Wells Fargo, Diamond Vogel Paints, ConAgra Foods and US WEST. Now Paint-A-Thon boasts support from additional partners Wells Fargo, Diamond Vogel, Lincoln Financial, The Lozier Foundation, The Mammel Foundation, Northern Natural Gas, Tenaska, the Gavilon Group, Pay Pal, TD Ameritrade and US Bank. In-kind support is provided by Barnhart Press and many other businesses support teams with supplies and materials.

Who pays for the paint?

All of the paint used on the Paint-A-Thon homes is purchased from Diamond Vogel Paints at a discounted cost. They use their best latex paint, and homeowners choose their own color. In 28 years over 40,800 gallons of paint have been used by Brush Up Nebraska.

Who can apply for Paint-A-Thon?

Homeowners must be low-income elderly, or permanently disabled, and unable to do the work themselves. Anyone that is 60 or over may apply. If the homeowner is disabled, at any age, they must have proof that their disability is permanent. Income guidelines are listed on the application. The home must be structurally sound, just needing paint. To qualify for Paint-A-Thon the home must be a single-family residence, occupied by the homeowner.

Where can someone get an application?

Applications can be made available through churches, Wells Fargo Bank Branches, senior centers, housing authorities or other human service agencies (or by calling 211).

How are homeowners selected?

Homeowners must meet the income and age guidelines listed on the application. Referrals come from non-profit agencies, churches, synagogues and individuals. After an applicant has qualified, the home is inspected and evaluated for need, then referred to the independent selection committee. The committee is made up of local non-profit leaders, and is separate from the sponsoring organizations. Once all criteria is evaluated the approved applications are matched with the volunteer teams, and the homeowner is notified.

Do the homeowners pay for the painting?

No. The painting is free to the homeowner. The paint and labor are donated. The homeowners are asked to welcome the volunteers to their home, and if family members would like to help the team that is encouraged.

How can I get information about forming a team to paint a home?

Team information is available by calling Brush Up Nebraska at (402) 965-9169. Teams come in all sizes, and we have all sizes of homes available. Brush Up Nebraska is an excellent team-building project, and many companies take advantage of having their employees volunteer.

How many people does it take to form a team?

The average size of a team is 24, but teams range from 5 to 50. The size of the house assigned to the team is based on number of team members and the skills of the volunteers. A team of 5 can do a garage or trim job, while a larger team is necessary for a large home.

What does Paint-A-Thon provide to the team?

Paint-A-Thon provides each team with a qualified homeowner, house that needs to be painted, training session on painting a home, paint, primer and caulk. We also provide paint, primer, and caulk, plastic tarp, masking tape, gloves and masks.

What does the team need to provide?

Each team needs to bring brushes, buckets, scrapers and ladders. Some of the homeowners have ladders that the team can use. A cooler with water and a First Aid Kit are advised. On Paint Day, juice and donuts are provided to each team in the morning. Many teams get lunch for the team or have someone seek out a donation for the meal.

What is the date of the Paint-A-Thon?

The Paint-A-Thon is always the third Saturday of August. A Team Leader Meeting is held in mid-July for training and to pick up house assignments. It is the only meeting for Brush Up Nebraska and it is required that someone from the team attend.

Can I make a financial donation to Brush Up Nebraska Paint-A-Thon?

Yes. The Paint-A-Thon is a non-profit project, and your donation is tax-deductible. You can contact Tom or Sheila Pettigrew at (402) 965-9169 or send a donation to:

Brush Up Nebraska Paint-A-Thon
PO Box 540436, Omaha, NE 68154.

Thank you for caring and sharing your time and energy to help a homeowner maintain their home, and beautify a neighborhood by participating in

Brush Up Nebraska Paint-A-Thon.