Life hasn’t necessarily been easy for 72-year-old Linda Marquez the past four years.
The Lakewood resident lost her son Marcus in 2017 after he passed away due to a long battle with a brain tumor — leaving behind his now three-year-old son Atticus. Atticus’s mother wanted him to stay with Marquez because of complicated issues, and when she was faced with the challenge to raise her grandson, Marquez stood up.
For the past four years, Marquez has raised Atticus alone and plans to continue doing so until she is no longer physically able to. She said he is a friendly, smart boy who recently finished his first year of preschool.
“My Atticus is my life saver, because if I didn’t have him, I would be alone. He keeps me moving,” said Marquez. “I decided when my son died, I wouldn’t let anybody take him away from me. I can’t do my yard work or paint my beautiful house now — but I can take care of him day by day.”
Thanks to Brothers Redevelopment’s Paint-A-Thon Program — a free service where volunteers paint the outside of homes for low-income and disabled seniors — Marquez doesn’t have to worry about painting her house anymore.
Paint-A-Thon volunteers from Pinkard Construction, a construction company based in Lakewood, were at Marquez’s house on June 11 to update it with a new paint job that she has long dreamed for.
“It looks beautiful,” said Marquez, who noted that she never liked the color of her house before until it was recently painted. “It looks lighter, cleaner, and I don’t have all those chips and spots anymore. I’m grateful because I don’t know how I would’ve ever done this.”
2021 marks the second year Pinkard Construction has volunteered for the Paint-A-Thon. Christine Fuentes, a Pinkard Construction employee who volunteered to paint Marquez’s house, said the company gives its employees three paid days to volunteer for different causes.
“What’s nice about working with Brothers is they make it easy for the company because they provide all the information, they communicate with you, they help you decide what project would be good for the number of volunteers you have, they provide the material — everything that needs to be done to do a project like this. It makes it easy for us to promote it to our employees and to get the job done,” said Fuentes. “It’s kind of a turn the key thing.