Home Repair Workcamp coming to Albany in June

Picture purloined from nationalservice.gov
Picture purloined from nationalservice.gov
There will be an Albany Home Repair Group Workcamp, June 29th to July 5th, 2014. This week-long junior and senior high workcamp is co-sponsored by the City of Albany and the First Presbyterian Church of Albany, in conjunction with Group Cares Mission Trips. The participants will be housed at Myers Middle School. Participants gather together for large group meetings, eat in the cafeteria, and sleep on classroom floors.

The average camp size is 300-400 students from around the country, along with adult chaperones and Group staff members. Student volunteers work under the supervision of an adult with construction experience. These adults are supported by others with additional knowledge and construction skills.

There will be approxinmately 65 individual projects worked on this week, including painting, and the construction or repair of wheelchair ramps, porches, and porch stairs. This will be done at no cost to home owners or occupants. The homes being repaired have been identified by agencies that work directly with the city of Albany, plus neighborhood organizations and churches. Materials are being donated.

Construction sites and families are visited several times in preparation for the Workcamp. Descriptions of the requested work is recorded and signed-off on prior to the arrival of the volunteers. Building materials will be delivered to all sites prior to the beginning of the week.

Homeowners or residents are expected to be on the property during each day of the construction week; family members or close friends may take their place, though, if needed. Because of the possibility that not all volunteers who register will come, there can be no guarantees that every approved job can be done. However, all jobs that are begun will be finished.

Since 1977, over a quarter of a million youth have participated in this program providing more than 6 million hours of volunteer service around the country. Group Cares, formerly Group Workcamps Foundation, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization, works together with many types of partners to cosponsor volunteer service projects providing minor home repairs for elderly, disabled, or low-income residents.

Participants pay a registration fee, which covers the cost of food, lodging, programming, insurance, and a portion of the project materials. All participants are matched within a small crew that typically consists of one adult and five youth. Youth groups are split up to work with participants from other groups providing them with the opportunity to make new friends from across the nation.

Not only do the young people get to assist the elderly, disabled, and low-income families with home-repair projects they cannot manage themselves, they support local agencies with their backlog of home-repair and weatherization projects. At the same time, the students receive a cross-cultural service experiences for young people, helping them to grow in their Christian faith through service.

The youth of First Presbyterian Church of Albany have participated in similar activities in past summers, traveling to other cities to do home and building repairs. First Presbyterian Church of Albany is located on the corner of State and Willett Streets. The Pastors are Glenn and Miriam Leupold.

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