Evan Evans calls himself a helper — “a Martha,” a worker in the Biblical sense.
Evans, 68, and his wife Bonnie are among a group of 47 volunteers from Ainsworth United Methodist Church in Nebraska. The high school students and adult sponsors have been in Greensburg all week, performing what Evans calls handyman jobs at an average of five homes each day.
This is the second summer that Evans and the mission-minded Ainsworth church group made the seven-hour trek to Greensburg. The year before, they went to Slidell, La., to help after Hurricane Katrina.
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Evans is an optometrist in real life. He’s owned and operated his office in Ainsworth for 42 years. He’s a native of Iowa, but attended college at Ottawa University in Kansas, where he played football and basketball.
Besides helping people, Evans repairs and restores antiques, and makes furniture. His favorite creation is a tulip table made of maple, walnut and cherry wood. “Try to mix those three together and come out right,” he jokes.
The Ainsworth volunteers took a break Thursday night and went rollerskating in Pratt, 30 miles east of Greensburg. Evans didn’t go, though. He said he’s smart enough to know not to try skating at his age. Besides, he added, he has a bad back, and he’s still recovering from falling off a ladder and breaking one of his heels. He said he took enough guff after that episode.