Ministry begins work on North Augusta homes

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 1:06 AM
Last updated 1:22 AM
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Nora Stout lugged an armful of splintered wood to a small pile in the backyard of a North Augusta home, then stopped to wipe the sweat from her brow.

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Volunteers repair a back porch at a North Augusta home as part of the Summer Salkehatchie Service program. During the weeklong program, participants will improve the homes of three needy families. The campers are staying at Grace United Methodist Church this week.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Volunteers repair a back porch at a North Augusta home as part of the Summer Salkehatchie Service program. During the weeklong program, participants will improve the homes of three needy families. The campers are staying at Grace United Methodist Church this week.

The work was difficult and the hours were long, but the 14-year-old didn’t have any complaints. This is what she signed up for.

Nora made the trip from Atlanta to lend a helping hand in Grace United Methodist Church’s first Summer Salke­hatchie Service camp. After working all day Monday on the Old Edgefield Road home, Nora was still enthusiastic.

“To come here, step out of my comfort zone and try new things and to be able to help someone who needs our help, I think that’s really important,” she said. “It’s a little difficult, but I like it.”

The camp is one of more than 50 that the Salkehatchie Sum­mer Ser­vice puts on across South Carolina. Campers include high school and college-age students.

Through Friday, campers will call Grace United Methodist their home while they work on three North Augusta houses. Teams of eight to nine campers will work from 7 a.m. to about 4:30 p.m. each day, weather permitting.

As part of an all-girl team, Nora helped to repair rotting wood on a back porch while other members tore off roof shingles. The team spent time with the homeowners Sunday before beginning the project.

“(The families) are the primary concern of this ministry,” said Caroline Dennis, one of the project leaders. “It doesn’t cost them anything. The only thing they need is to have enough faith to let us do this to their houses.”

Less than two miles away, a second crew toiled away in Viola Hammond’s kitchen. Furniture crowded the living room as campers painted cabinets and replaced the linoleum flooring.

The Seaborn Drive home, which had been repaired by Grace United Methodist’s Weatherization and Repair Minis­try in January, was the perfect candidate for the service camp project, co-director Bobby Oliver said.

“The criteria for a Salke­hatchie house is a house that we can work on that needs repairs and will take at least five days to do the repairs,” he said. “That’s to keep the campers engaged for the whole camp.”

The homes are identified by the United Way of Aiken County as in need of repair. Building supplies are purchased through the camp’s enrollment fees, and the labor is free, Oliver said.

Tucked away in a back bedroom, Hammond said she was overwhelmed to have her home identified for repairs once again.

“I couldn’t afford to have (the repairs) done,” she said. “I’m blessed for them to come in and do it for me.”

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corgimom 07/09/13 - 05:08 am
I have never understood why

I have never understood why these kids come in from out of town, where there are literally thousands of kids in the CSRA that could do the same work.

Although I personally wouldn't agree with 14 and 15 year old kids putting a roof on my house- when there are leaks, what is the homeowner supposed to do?

I think that's part of the reason the people come from out of town- there's no recourse for the homeowner. You get what you pay for, and roofing is a skilled job. You have to know what you are doing to install it correctly.

InChristLove 07/09/13 - 05:26 am
corgimom, sorry you don't

corgimom, sorry you don't have enough faith. These kids come from out of town and kids from this area go to another part of the state or even to other states. They are supervised by adults who have experience and the work they do on the home is quality work, not to mention the work they do on the heart of the homeowner.

You are right, you get what you pay for and when you are using God's account, I'd say the quality is guaranteed.

soapy_725 07/09/13 - 08:31 am
Faith in Action. Life lesson. Eternal Lesson. Helping others.

Proud to say my granddaughter has participated in two of t he projects. She cares about the needs of others. The needs of the innocent.

navycubfan 07/09/13 - 12:40 pm
From the way I read it...

The roofing is only on the back porch not the whole house. These kids are learning much more than how to make home's about ministry and having a servant's heart. If more kids did projects like this, we wouldn't have as many stories like guys stabbing 10 yr old kids in the eye with a fork or 36 yr old men getting the tar beat out of them because they took indecent liberties with a 12 yr old girl.

navycubfan 07/09/13 - 12:47 pm

It would be great if a local group would do this work for our elderly. While it doesn't exactly say that, I'm pretty sure that's who the recipients of the work are. They were identified by the United Way. I did similar work in Florida for elderly.. not a five day job but a day of doing yard work and minor repairs for elderly who couldn't do the work on their own. It was a blessing and the reward was in the appreciation they showed knowing that they didn't have to do the work themselves and their homes looked better.

corgimom 07/09/13 - 09:46 pm
Roofs look easy, but they

Roofs look easy, but they aren't. They have to be installed just right, otherwise there will be leaks and rotting fascia boards, and even structural and foundation problems later on.

It's not a job for kids who don't know what they are doing.

Even the professionals don't always get it right the first time, even the ones that have been doing it for years.

For the money that these groups spend on travelling, they could help more people. With all the churches in Augusta, there are thousands of kids that could do this work. I'm ok with kids doing certain kinds of work for the elderly, but not skilled construction, and not construction work that has a very high rate of accidents- and that's with experienced adults, with adult maturity and judgment. Roof falls, even from the bottom of a roof, is a very good way to end up a paraplegic or quadraplegic. Kids think nothing bad will ever happen to them and that everything they do is safe, that's just being a kid.

I've had to call an ambulance before for a construction worker that fell off a roof. He was very,very lucky, he just broke his elbow. He was a construction superintendent with over 20 years of construction experience, and he still fell. It's frightening, and it happens in the blink of an eye.

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