Commonwealth Journal

Features

July 14, 2012

Volunteers helping with home repairs

Somerset —  

More than 200 youth volunteers yielded hammers and paintbrushes last week in carrying out much-needed repairs on homes of those in need as part of a mission project organized by local churches. 
226 youth and an additional 100 adult supervisors worked in Pulaski County last week as part of the Kentucky Changers program, in which students and adults provide home maintenance and repair services at no charge to the needy throughout Kentucky.
“It’s a life-changing experience every time we come,” said youth volunteer Jenna Stallard, from Pound, Va. “It makes us feel good sharing God’s love and showing what we can do with the skills he’s given us.”
Those skills aren’t typical of your normal teenager. The youth are given a lesson in basic skills such as roofing, painting, and building decks when they first arrive. By the end of the week, they’ve become familiar with many of the skills required to carry out basic house repairs.  
The Kentucky Changers program is modeled after the Southern Baptist youth mission program called  World Changers. The Kentucky Changers program is coordinated by the Kentucky Baptist Convention on the state level, and it was organized on the local level by member churches of the Pulaski Baptist Association.
According to the Kentucky Changers website, Kentucky Changers coordinators work with local churches, governments and organizations to identify residents in need. Projects are planned months in advance and organized by an experienced construction supervisor so materials and equipment will be on site and ready when the Kentucky Changers teams arrive. 
Those participating in the Southern Kentucky project, based in Somerset, arrived to Southwestern High School, the project’s home base, on Saturday, July 7. 
“Southwestern High School has been invaded by all these kids,” said volunteer and Somerset City Councilor Tom Eastham, whose church was one of several that helped organize the project. “They’re here at 6 a.m. in the morning with tired smiles and they’re ready to do it again over and over and over ... it’s so powerful.”

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