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News / Clark County News

Social media influencer from Camas gives back with free home repairs

Man looks for houses in need of work for his Labor of Love projects

By Sarah Wolf, Columbian staff writer
Published: December 31, 2022, 6:00am
4 Photos
Celia Aparicio Barragan had her deck replaced by Lopez earlier this year. "I am so grateful and surprised," Aparicio Barragan told Lopez in his Labor of Love video highlighting the project.
Celia Aparicio Barragan had her deck replaced by Lopez earlier this year. "I am so grateful and surprised," Aparicio Barragan told Lopez in his Labor of Love video highlighting the project. (Photos courtesy Eddy Lopez) Photo Gallery

Eddy Lopez is a social media influencer. He’s #blessed. And he wants to give back. So earlier this year, he started his Labor of Love projects, where he will drive around and pick a house at random that looks like it could use some work.

“I love to give back,” said Lopez, who runs the EZ Home empire on TikTok, Facebook and YouTube.

In his latest Labor of Love video, Lopez of Camas pulled up to the home of Celia Aparicio Barragan. Speaking in Spanish, she told him that she had lived in her home for six years and loves it because it is so calm and the neighbors are friendly.

Her deck, however, had aged and become dangerous.

“It’s scary going down these steps because they are pretty bad,” she told Lopez in Spanish. “The wood is all rotten.”

It’s so bad, she went on to say, that she didn’t even really use that entrance to her home. She went through the back door instead.

Lopez and his crew went to work removing the old railings and rotting deck boards before reinforcing the porch’s roof. They installed new support posts, new stairs and new railings.

The materials, including cedar deck boards, support posts, lighting, stairway framing and so on, for Lopez’s Labor of Love projects were all donated by home improvement store Lowe’s.

“I am so grateful and surprised,” Aparicio Barragan told Lopez. “I didn’t expect this.”

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The deck, she said, had turned out beautifully.

The Labor of Love project is extraordinary, said Aparicio Barragan’s adult daughter Raquel in the video.

“This is the first time that something like this has happened in our lives,” she told Lopez in Spanish.

The Labor of Love projects need to continue, she said, because they’re something good.

Speaking to the viewers, she added, “Hopefully you can experience what I felt when I found out he would be helping my mom for free.”

A busy schedule has prevented Lopez from doing many of these projects in the past nine months, but he’s been able to delegate work now and put his construction business on hold.

“Now all we do is content,” said Lopez. “We do sponsored videos; we sell our merchandise and we’re doing the Labor of Love that we want to continue to do.”

Most recently, he has worked on a door replacement project, a video of which will be released soon, and has more in the works in the coming months.

He aims to do one project a month going forward, including working at the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society shelter in January.

His initial videos were sponsored by Lowe’s, but since Lopez has been able to monetize his videos on social media, he’ll be able to continue doing Labor of Love projects even without a sponsor.

“I think this is a win-win for everybody,” Lopez said. The person in need gets a free repair and the sponsors get to shine. And Lopez and his team?

“We get to do what we do,” said Lopez. “I get to do what I love, which is building stuff and making people happy.”

Lopez is looking for local contractors or companies that would be willing to work on Labor of Love projects with him, whether that be through donations of labor or of materials.