Ben and Erin Napier continue to give back to the community that is home to their family, as well as their various businesses and HGTV show, “Home Town.” In less than a day, the couple managed to transform the Salvation Army shelter for women and children in Laurel, Mississippi, and share their progress with fans on social media.
On September 16, 2022, the Napiers and their team descended on the Salvation Army shelter for women and children in Laurel to spruce up the space with donated furniture and decor, plus newly painted walls in Erin’s favorite paint color, soft green.
In an Instagram story sharing their 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 soothing color! It’s a soothing neutral.”
Erin also shared an Instagram post featuring 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 their girls would love, so she knew other kids would love it. would do that too. They also picked up some colorful art, a vintage school desk, and more toys.
She also added a picture carousel with a finished living space, featuring a large sofa and chair from local Loft Furniture Co., children’s toys and books, framed art on the walls, a large TV, floor lamp, and more.
“We wanted to make a dormitory 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. With inflation rising, families need our support now more than ever.”
While cameras from the Hattiesburg news station WDAM were filming, the Napiers revealed the makeover to Salvation Army commanders Keisha and Jason McMullin, who oversee operations at the location and were stunned by the results.
Ben shared several images on his Instagram account, featuring the couple joined by Salvation Army representatives and a coffee shop they have created for the families residing 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 with @SalvationArmyUS in our hometown of Laurel, MS. We volunteered and served meals last year and couldn’t wait to go back. This time we’re decorating a few rooms to make it feel like home for the holidays.”
“It’s just great to celebrate second chances,” Erin told WDAM. “We do that with old houses and that’s what the Salvation Army does. They give people a second chance and we are happy to help you.”
The station reported that the Laurel Salvation Army shelter has 35 beds and serves 12 to 20 residents per month. Both Erin and Ben, who 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 United States Salvation Army website.
The Laurel shelter also has a wish list at Wal-Mart for everything from oatmeal to diapers, which can be purchased online and sent directly to the Salvation Army.