Teens come to Gloucester to help those in need
Nearly 300 youth from across the state converged on Gloucester and Mathews earlier this week, braving extreme heat, to perform renovations for a number of different residents whose homes were in need of repair.
Two large mission groups happened to host weeklong camps in the area this week; statewide Impact Virginia and Gloucester-based Helping Hands Mission Camp.
Each camp followed basically the same format to achieve a unified mission of helping community members in need.
Impact Virginia, a one-week construction mission opportunity, is based at Newington Baptist Church, Gloucester, and believe it or not, its participants pay $275 for the privilege of doing a week’s worth of manual labor on people’s homes.
The youth volunteers have been working on about 20 projects this week, and the participants’ fees help to offset some of the cost of materials for the repairs, according to Impact Virginia mission events and development coordinator Glenn Maddox.
Maddox said residents in need of home repairs were referred by various community organizations. Also, some were discovered by Impact Virginia staff members riding around the community to identify homes with certain needs.
It’s not an easy week. Maddox said participants rise each morning by 6, attend a worship service at 7 and are on the job sites by 8 o’clock. The volunteers work each day until about 4 p.m. and then head back to Newington to clean up.
After dinner, which is provided by a Disaster Relief Feeding Unit, participants worship together again, take the time to reflect on each other’s experiences throughout the day and then enjoy a little free time.
On Wednesday, volunteers were given the afternoon off to enjoy other activities in the area such as fishing or going to some of the nearby theme parks.