Work-a-thon becomes Build-a-Thon!

Published 03/02 2013 10:04PM

Updated 03/04 2013 12:58PM

CHAMPAIGN -- Volunteers put on their tool belts to help kids-in-need. That's why they're hard at work putting together a piece of furniture the kids might never have had otherwise. WCIA-3's Jessica Shaw was there for the big build.

Several hundred volunteers were able to put together 400 cupboards in a matter of hours. Board by board and nail by nail, volunteers worked for Empty Tomb's Mega Work-a-Thon.

"The experience of getting a bunch of people volunteering. This isn't for ourselves. It's for other people less fortunate."

The event is in its second year. Already the numbers have almost quadrupled. Last year, more than 200 volunteers donated time and energy. This year? More than 700 volunteers from more than 70 different churches pitched in.

"They're excited. It's awesome the joy in their faces. You can't beat that."

For the younger generation, it's a learning experience.

"The first time using a hammer, I kept hurting my finger."

"I work with my hands everyday and I like teaching him how to work with his. He did a great job."

It took volunteers a little more than two hours to finish the job.

"What surprised me is they built 400 clothes cupboards before 11 am."

Each was carefully painted, then sent to a family, all free of charge. For the children getting these, it's more than a place to store their stuff.

"They may not have anything and their clothes are all over the place. This is my clothes cupboard. These are my clothes, my books. It boosts their self-esteem."

The volunteers spent the rest of the day delivering those cupboards. Some went to families as far away as Homer.

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