Local Resident Carries On His Family’s Heart For Giving Back

Local Resident Carries On His Family’s Heart For Giving Back

Local Resident Carries On His Family’s Heart For Giving Back

by Steve Gamel

Carson Ozmer says he and his buddies on the Guyer baseball team only need 15 or 20 minutes to transform an elderly person’s home this holiday season with a few strands of thoughtfully placed Christmas lights. Then it’s on to the next house, and the next one after that … and the next one after that. “[How fast we can do it] also depends on how many guys we have helping out,” said Carson, who lives in Lantana. Carson, a junior, had no problem drumming up plenty of help on December 8 when he, his friends, and family showed up for the annual Hearts for Homes Christmas Basket and Decoration Day. Hearts for Homes is a Christian-based outreach ministry that provides no-cost home repairs and other essentials to low-income elderly homeowners in Denton County.

The organization, started in 2006 by Susan Frank, has relied on its legion of volunteers and help from churches, schools, and businesses to collect, sort, and distribute baskets of non-perishable food items and household gifts to its growing list of recipients who could use a helping hand during the holidays. But two years ago, Carson’s brother, Garett, who was on the organization’s Homeowner’s Relations Committee before he graduated last June, concocted the idea of putting up Christmas lights for those who wanted them. And just like that, a wild day of selfless giving got even bigger thanks to the hearts of so many selfless residents. After his brother graduated, Carson didn’t think twice about carrying on the tradition. “I love doing it; it gives me satisfaction knowing these elders are loved on during this special time of year,” Carson said.

Carson’s mother, Gina, said her family has been volunteering at Hearts for Homes for 10 years now. The biggest advantage for her was that officials for Hearts for Homes didn’t mind having younger children helping out with certain projects, which meant her kids could get involved and understand the value of lending a helping hand to those less fortunate than they are. As they got older, her kids naturally took on bigger volunteer roles in the organization. Gina added that she’s incredibly proud of her boys for putting their personal stamp on such a worthy cause. She also thanked the Lantana community for the donations for this year’s baskets.

“Garett got the idea from talking to one customer who was 82 years old. She had never had Christmas lights before,” Gina said. “He spoke to Pat Watson, the baseball coach at Guyer, and the team immediately jumped onboard. Naturally, Carson wanted to continue that. So we all show up on the same day, and the players go out with their trucks to put up all the lights. Then they come back to the warehouse and start helping put together baskets.” “The people we are helping … so many of them are by themselves and really look forward to a day like this,” Gina said.

Hearts for Homes holds special events such as its Christmas Basket and Decoration Day throughout the year and handle everything from monetary help and simple donations of essential items to repairing roof leaks, handling home rehabilitation, and more. Its clients come from all over Denton County. “I love getting my teammates together. They just want to help, too. Honestly, I could see myself doing this when I come home from college and even when I’m older, and I’ve had my own kids,” Carson said.

For more information, visit HeartsForHomes.org photos courtesy of Carson Ozmer H4H

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