He’s been in and out of retirement for several years, but he’s always seen the value in making time to serve others.
Joe Redmond – a husband of 37 years, father to three, grandfather to five, and IT expert – first got involved with Home Repairs Ministries over four years ago doing repair projects with his high school discipleship group at Perimeter Church.
From there, he continued working on different projects with HRM, getting experience in a little bit of everything: redoing bathrooms and ramps, installing handicap rails, putting down flooring, repairing and replacing decks and banisters, installing siding, yard work, and lots of other odd jobs along the way.
“In my IT job, I often work on 6-18 month long projects, but I like creating things and seeing the fruits of my labor [on Home Repairs projects],” Joe said. “I enjoy working with, learning from, and serving others. And while I’m pretty handy, I’m not a professional. Every time I’m on a job [with Home Repairs], I learn a new skill to take with me.”
Because Home Repairs serves low-income homeowners, the conditions in which the team finds clients can sometimes be difficult to see.
“In the fall, we did a project for a lady whose roof was leaking. We went in and replaced all of the carpet – which was probably about 40 years old – in her home. There was terrible mold we had to remediate, too,” he said.
“The conditions this woman was living in… it was very sad. I was very humbled by it and so glad to be able to help her.”
While this experience was impactful for Joe, the reason he gives his time goes deeper than simply providing repair help.
“We’re commanded [in the Bible] to serve. And what always surprises me is the way I walk away from nearly all serving opportunities feeling more blessed than before,” he said. “It reminds me to pray for a grateful heart every day, because I have been truly blessed.
“You don’t have to look far to see how blessed you are; there are always people struggling more than you.”
Joe and the rest of the Home Repairs volunteers are happy to do what they can to get people’s homes into better shape – making a way for seniors to age in place, single moms to remain hopeful, and disabled homeowners to stay safe.
“It’s important to note: We don’t do free work for people with the resources to fix it on their own. We’re also not turning people’s homes into mansions – we’re making things livable and safe,” he said. “The people Home Repairs serves have real challenges, and they’re always so appreciative [for our help].”
Joe wants to see Home Repairs continue well into the future, continuing to bless people all along the way. He encourages others to also volunteer.
“I talk to lots of retirement-aged people who say things like ‘I don’t think I can stop working, because I don’t know what I’d do with myself.’ I always tell them that there are a lot of needy people out there,” he said. “And with that kind of focus, you can retire and be truly fulfilled and blessed with it.”
As a semi-retiree, life is still plenty busy for Joe – but he sees serving with Home Repairs as well worth the time and effort.
“I just love the camaraderie of working with these guys – even though we always have to make sure no one forgets any of their tools before we leave,” he laughed.
“[I also love] praying before meals, for safety during a job, and as thanks for the chance to serve… just being reminded that we’re truly serving the Lord by serving others.”