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Fresh Paint, Fresh Start for Ferguson

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

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Seeking a fresh face for the battered town of Ferguson, MO, hundreds of volunteers are repainting boarded-up storefronts and other structures across the city with new messages for the watching world.

Leading the effort is Paint for Peace StL, a group of local artists led by St. Louis resident and business owner Tom Halaska.

The store is boarded up, but Paint for Peace volunteers in Ferguson have a message for the world.

The group has organized a massive effort to repaint the devastated city that has become an international symbol of racial strife since the Aug. 9 shooting of a black teenager by a white police officer.

Paint for Peace is not taking sides in the notorious case, in which Michael Brown was fatally wounded by Officer Darren Wilson.

Volunteers say they are simply trying to put the town back together, particularly after the renewed rioting that swept the town after a grand jury declined in November to indict Wilson.

'Unity and Strength'

"It's a symbol of unity and strength of Ferguson," Eddie Edwin told CBS News while spending Thanksgiving morning painting boarded-up buildings with his wife.

Paint for Peace

The Paint for Peace project has drawn donations and hundreds of volunteers.

An Indiana minister and her daughter drove in to bring coffee and doughnuts to the volunteers, CBS said.

Donations have poured in from around the country, and volunteers—white, black, young, old, families and singles— have given hundreds of hours to the cause.

More than 200 artists had participated in the project by Saturday (Dec. 6), and 500 more were expected to be working throughout the weekend.

Paint for Peace

The volunteers have a message for all sides in the conflict.

More than 1,900 people have joined the project's Facebook group, and online fundraising campaign has taken in more than $1,200. The group is also seeking paint, brushes and related supplies through the Facebook page.

'Absolutely Fantastic'

"I'm so excited," a woman at Ferguson Hardware told KTVI-TV. The damaged business on Ferguson's main street remains open as repairs continue.

"The street was just taken over by bunches of people with dozens of paint cans and ... everything is just absolutely fantastic outside."

Drew Shay

The Shay family of Ferguson, MO, came to paint at the urging of son Drew, 10. He said the slogans "Ferguson strong" and "We are family" were "really, really cool."

When they finish in Ferguson, group members say, they will tackle adjacent towns also affected by the months of violence and destruction.

One Instagram photo showed a pile of used paintbrushes and rollers with the caption "Our weapons of choice."


Tagged categories: Architectural coatings; Exterior painting; Maintenance + Renovation; Maintenance coating work; North America; Rehabilitation/Repair; Renovation

Comment from Gary Burke, (12/9/2014, 9:03 AM)

Let the criminals that burned the city down and destroyed it take care of putting it back together!

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