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Couple with spinal cord injuries receive help from Wells Fargo volunteers

Aug 31, 2017 01:40PM ● Published by Jana Klopsch

Annalisa Marsh has been with Wells Fargo for 13 years. She said they do volunteer work two to three times a year. (Jessica Parcell/City Journals)

Gallery: Painting [3 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Jessica Parcell | j.parcell@mycityjournals.com


When someone from Wells Fargo showed up at Larry and Marianne Orr’s doorstep with a tape measure they were surprised to find themselves on the receiving end of Wells Fargo’s next service project.

Marianne and Larry Orr have been married for little over a year. Marianne said that it wasn’t long after their marriage that Larry suffered a stroke and lost all mobility in his right side.

The couple—who both have spinal cord injuries—met playing wheelchair tennis.

“One month after we got married, Larry had a stroke,” Marianne said, “so, spend the next six and a half months in the hospital.”

After the hospital stay, Marianne said they found themselves needing to remodel their home as Larry never regained any mobility in his right side.

“A gal came and told us that they do these neighborhood projects, these paint-a-thons and paint people’s houses,” Marianne said. “She said, ‘Would you mind if we submitted your name?’ and I said, ‘Sure!’”

Marianne said that dealing with the aftermath of Larry’s stroke has been nothing short of a trial for both of them, but he is steadily progressing. She said when they approached her about submitting their names for the service she had mixed feelings about it. 

“It’s a huge blessing because, obviously, Larry and I probably aren’t going to be climbing up on ladders and painting,” Marianne said. “But, at the same time, it’s hard to be on the receiving end of things.”

The service event, Paint Your Heart Out—organized by NeighborWorks Salt Lake and Wells Fargo—has had volunteers paint homes for the elderly and disabled for the past 32 years. This year, the organizations’ volunteers will paint 14 homes, bringing the sum of homes serviced to 810 over their years of service.

“Wells Fargo does lots of volunteer events,” Wells Fargo employee Annalisa Marsh said, “and we volunteer within Wells Fargo to do different things two or three times a year.”

Marsh said her daughter, Shelby Jensen, likes to volunteer, so she tries to get her involved with volunteer efforts that are going on.

“It’s just, ‘Oh Shelby, they’re doing this this year, or they’re doing this this month’ and we give her the option of what she wants to do,” Marsh said. “She’s like, ‘Let’s go paint a house!’”

Brad Smith, research and remediation manager at Wells Fargo, said that he has only been at Wells Fargo for six months, but said that they encourage employees to do community volunteer work.

“I think most people are good human beings and they want to help,” Smith said. “Sometimes they don’t know how to, so what I love about Wells Fargo is they help us find the opportunities where we can go out and serve.” 

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