Ben and Erin Napier are always giving back to the community that is their family’s home, as well as their various businesses and the HGTV show Home Town. In less than a day, the couple remodeled The Salvation Army’s women’s and children’s shelter in Laurel, Mississippi and shared their progress with fans on social media.
On September 16, 2022, the Napiers and their team came to the Salvation Army women’s and children’s shelter in Laurel to redecorate the space with donated furniture and decorations, and repainted the walls in Erin’s favorite color, a soft green.
In an Instagram Story sharing her progress, Ben joked that “Erin hates the color green” as they finished the walls. “Everyone knows it’s my favorite,” she replied. “I feel like it’s a calming color! It’s a reassuring neutrality.”
Erin also shared an Instagram post with a video of her and Ben picking up additional items at the adjacent Salvation Army thrift store, including a giant pink bunny that she said her girls would love, so she knew that other children would do it too. They also took away colorful artwork, a vintage school desk, and more toys.
She also added a picture carousel showing a finished living space with a large sofa and chair from locally owned Loft Furniture Co., children’s toys and books, framed art on the walls, large screen TV, floor lamp and more.
“We wanted to make a dorm a soft landing for women and children in need of shelter,” Erin wrote under her post. “Our Laurel shelter served 33,428 meals in 2021 alone. Now, with inflation rising, families need our support more than ever.”
With cameras from Hattiesburg news channel WDAM filming, the Napiers unveiled the makeover to Salvation Army commanders Keisha and Jason McMullin, who are overseeing the operations at the scene and were stunned by the results.
Ben shared various images on his Instagram account of Salvation Army officials as well as a coffee bar they set up for the families who live there. It includes a custom wood cabinet with storage space, a toaster, coffee maker, small refrigerator, and baskets for fresh fruit and snacks.
Ben wrote: “We had an INCREDIBLE day helping @SalvationArmyUS in our hometown of Laurel, MS. We volunteered and served meals last year and couldn’t wait to come back. This time we’re freshening up a few rooms to make it feel like home for the holidays.”
“It’s just wonderful to celebrate second chances,” Erin told WDAM. “That’s what we do with old houses and that’s what the Salvation Army does. You give people a second chance and we are happy to help.”
The station reported that the Laurel Salvation Army shelter has 35 beds and serves 12 to 20 residents a month. Both Erin and Ben, who have also worked with The Salvation Army during the 2021 holiday season, asked their followers to learn about and support their local Salvation Army centers by visiting the Salvation Army USA website.
The Laurel Animal Shelter also has a wish list at Wal-Mart from everything from oatmeal to diapers that can be bought online and mailed directly to the local Salvation Army.