Students and staff at the University of the Incarnate Word ditched the beach and Netflix this spring break to give back to the community. It's part of the Ninth Annual Alternative Spring Break program.
With the help of volunteers, the project painted two homes on the west side of San Antonio, including Patricia Rocha’s house.
She says her home was overdue for a paint job, adding that it was last painted more than five years ago. "I grew up here," Rocha said.
The home is rich in family history. Her father ordered the home built after returning from World War II. "He built it for my grandma," Rocha said.
She’s lived at her home for nearly 60 years.
Last year the Rochas stumbled upon the Spring Break project in their neighborhood and offered volunteers water, trash bags and other items. This year, volunteers paid back the favor.
Volunteers stripped the old paint from the homes and repainted them. Rocha’s neighbor’s home was painted white and volunteers painted Rocha’s home her favorite color, purple.
"What better way to fill your time then help out the community?" volunteer Katherine Wilks said.
The project leader says the good deed also teaches a valuable lesson to students.
"In some places in the city, we are very rich, in other parts of the city, we are not so rich,” Sister Walter Maher, Vice President of Mission Ministry said. “[It teaches them] to really understand what are issues and how do we go about find a way to resolve and build up the whole community.”
Rocha's father passed in 2003 but Rocha says he would be proud of the makeover.
“It’s beautiful,” Rocha said.