In the spring of 2012, a group of young men that were high school buds of Pete's decided to honor their friend in a way they thought he would like.
A day of service to the community. As in, volunteering to help a neighbor in need to fix up their house, paint their gutters, repair their fence or clean up a yard that's become a bit too much for them to keep up.
Last September, this group of young men convinced the city of Richardson, Texas to assign them a number of homes that were out of code or in need of some repair. The homeowners were usually elderly, sick, physically challenged, economically challenged or all of the above.
So much good was done last year that Pete Burks Day of Service II was held in Richardson this past Saturday. The mayor was there to say thanks. City council was there. The city manager was there. And, about 50 volunteers were there to help neighbors in need.
The YMCA got some maintenance taken care of and some trees planted. A park was spruced up. Fences past their prime were removed to make room for new fences. Houses were painted.
And, there was the jungle house.
Take a look at this picture. See if you can see the house.
Not to worry. None of us who drove up could see the house, either.
The gentleman who has lived there for 40 years has had his share of challenges. He gave up on the yard years ago. Like most of his life, it was just too much for him.
Here's what it looked like three hours later.
The transformation was amazing. The owner was thankful for the help. The neighbors were astonished and appreciative.
And quite often, the volunteers would be asked, "Now, who are you guys and why are you doing this?"
And so, Pete's story would be shared.
And, the underlying reason for the day of service was made clear.
"You must love your neighbor as you love yourself."
It's all about love. And loving someone first.
Thanks, Footwashers. Thanks, sponsors. Thanks, volunteers. Thanks, Richardson. Thank you, Lord.
Thanks, Petey. You continue to inspire others six years after you left us.