Finding an area of service where you know your skills will be used well is important; Ed Salley understood this and was looking for somewhere to volunteer. 

“I’m in a Bible study with one of Home Repairs Ministries board members, Richard Lusk. I knew he was involved with Home Repairs Ministries, but I was not that familiar with it or what he was doing with it. One day, he shared with me that they had an opening for a board position and asked if I would be interested in it,” he said.

“Some months earlier, I had expressed to him that I had an interest in serving in a greater capacity than I’ve done in the past. He said I’d be a good addition to the team if I was interested. I agreed, met with Bill Isaak and others on the board and joined the board about a year ago.”

Through his position at Home Repairs, Ed has been able to serve his community and spread Christ’s love.

“Giving service to homeowners who cannot afford to, or physically cannot, maintain critical repairs to allow them to stay in their homes [drew me in]. That and the fact that they’re typically elderly people or those with physical disabilities,” he said. 

“I have a passion for helping people, so that appealed to me. The fact that it’s openly Christian-based is also something I feel very strongly about.”

Ed appreciates the opportunity to point others toward Jesus.

“Everything we do is because we’ve been blessed to the point of being able to serve and be witnesses for Christ Jesus,” he said. “We represent with our blessings and pass them on, and hopefully, it’s a witness to others and they discover that they would like to know more about how the Spirit dwells in us and enables us to provide service to homeowners.”

Although his position doesn’t usually get hands-on in the day-to-day action, Ed still does what he can to volunteer. 

“I only do maybe two or three [on-site volunteer jobs] per year, because, while I’m physically very capable of doing most things, I’m 78 and I’m not as strong and agile as I once was! Although I can carry lumber, screw screws and pour concrete, I have to select the jobs that fit my abilities; and that’s the only thing that keeps me from doing it full-time,” he said.

The best part of serving with Home Repairs, in Ed’s opinion, is seeing homeowners’ reactions to their renovations. He also enjoys being able to point to Jesus through what he and the team do. 

“There was a homeowner whose mother lived with her in a home that was on a foundation. The back porch had rotted and fallen off. They had a single entrance into the property through the front door, but no exit from the back. Due to fire codes, without that, you could face eviction. So there was a desperate need for us to replace that deck,” Ed said.

“The tears that came to the homeowner’s eyes when we finished the job and she came out to look at what we had done… it meant everything. It was worthwhile just to see the gratitude in her eyes.

“We reminded her that it’s not us. It’s through us, but it’s in the name of Jesus Christ because we’re called to do this. It’s amazing to help homeowners stay and thrive in their own homes without worry of eviction or any other issues.”

Ed has big plans for Home Repairs Ministries’ future, including a sizable growth plan. Ed truly believes in the organization’s opportunity to reach more people in need.

“I was elected to be Chairman of the Fundraising Committee, which I have taken very seriously. I’ve structured it just as if I were in a corporate business job. I’ve led a team to put together a plan for our fundraising that supports the five-year strategic plan for the ministry,” he said. 

“I would like to see us grow this ministry both geographically and in the number of volunteers – and that’s going to require more funds. My goal is to double the size of Home Repairs Ministries in the next five years, and I’m very confident in our ability to do this.”

Ed suggests that giving should come from a place of personal gratitude. 

“We need to share, at least our time if not otherwise, to demonstrate the gratitude we have for what we’ve been blessed with. I encourage people to reflect on their blessings. And people say, ‘well, I don’t have much, or I have this problem or that problem.’ We all have them!” he said. “There’s not an individual that goes through life that doesn’t have interruptions, tragedies or regrets. But we also have a lot to give and to be thankful for, and we need to reflect that in our willingness to serve others.”

Serving with Home Repairs Ministries has allowed Ed to express his gratitude for his own blessings, and he looks forward to blessing others similarly in the future.