Hundreds to help town

By Aubrey Morse , Gary Brode |

Published 07/06 2014 06:45PM

Updated 07/08 2014 04:17PM

Update: 10:22 pm, 7/7/14, Monday
DANVILLE -- It's a gathering of young and old, all with one goal; to improve the homes of the elderly, handicapped or low-income people. It's called Work Camp. WCIA-3's photojournalist Aubrey Morse follows the group through the Local Lens.

"This is their first day of work."

"This year we're painting."

"My house really needed it. A lot of people can't afford it. The good Lord has blessed me."

"Anywhere from 150 to 400 youth and their chaperones or youth ministers come to these work camps. This house, for example, we're all painters. We're scraping, putting primer on, paint the whole outside of the house, repairing porches."

"I am so grateful to have them come in and help with this that, you know, I can't express it. These kids are doing a lot of works. It's for a good cause. They're learning things, they're learning skills, they're learning people skills. It's fabulous, fabulous effort."

"Seeing the residents and how grateful they are. They've always been so extremely humble and grateful that we're all here and just seeing how they've been impacted by us is amazing."

"It's like, how much of an impact you can make on someone's life in just a few days."

"To see the progress that you make over the week and seeing how you've affected the resident's life, it's really life-changing."

"It's a blessing. It's a blessing to me."

The group says 43 homes will be worked on this week. More than 260 teenagers and adults will help.
Original: 5:33 pm, 7/6/14, Sunday
DANVILLE -- Many homes will be getting repaired this week. 250 kids and chaperones from around the country arrived Sunday for Work Camp 2014. It's an organization which brings people from different churches to build or fix houses.

The First Presbyterian Church of Danville has been involved in the Work Camp for years helping other cities. These students are having some fun, but the hard work starts tomorrow.

"Our youth have been out of town the past five summers on five of these trips themselves, but the question is, can't we do this in Danville?" said pastor Jimmy Hopper. "There are needs here."

Not only are houses in the area getting upgrades, but the city is getting an economic shot in the arm. Jimmy Hopper says about $150,000 goes into the area's economy for the week.

The First Presbyterian Church's hard work was recently recognized. It was given an award for its work in mental health by the Presbyterian Serious Mental Illness Network.

The church has a group to help people with mental illness. It provides counseling to people with a mental disease or family and friends impacted. Pastor Hopper says the award has a special meaning to him, because he has family members affected by mental illness.

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