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Muskegon Workcamp Will Benefit Homes, Lives of Low-Income Seniors
More than 380 High School Students Will Provide Free Home Repairs July 7-13
More than 60 low-income seniors will receive free home repairs the week of July 7-13 as 380 high school volunteers from across the Midwest flock to Muskegon – thanks to support from Catholic Charities West Michigan.
For the second time, CCWM is sponsoring the Group Workcamps Foundation program in West Michigan. The national program matches high school students who are members of Christian youth groups from a wide range of denominations to volunteer their time to repair homes for the elderly, disabled and other low-income homeowners.
Students from nine Midwestern states will arrive in Muskegon Sunday, July 7 to begin a week of painting, repairing porches, building wheelchair ramps and assisting with other home repairs. Recipients for the program have already been chosen from more than 200 applicants, but CCWM is still looking for financial support to house, feed and transport the student-volunteers.
“The Workcamp philosophy supports our mission of offering innovative, collaborative programs that deliver high-quality social service programs to those in need,” said Deborah J. Nykamp, president and CEO of Catholic Charities West Michigan. “We are very pleased to host these dedicated and hard-working young people, who will be able to make a very real difference in the lives of some of our most vulnerable seniors next week.
“As an organization, we are committed to the principles of social justice – and to making West Michigan a better place for all to live and work.”
Muskegon Catholic Central will transform its elementary and high school into makeshift residence halls for the week, with student-volunteers and their chaperones sleeping on classroom floors, eating in the cafeteria and enjoying ecumenical programming each evening in the gym. While the high schoolers will travel as a youth group, they will be assigned to different work teams, encouraging them to meet and work with other like-minded Christians for the week.
Nykamp estimates that student-volunteers of the Muskegon Workcamp will donate about 13,400 hours of labor valued at approximately $268,000 to the community. In Muskegon, CCWM offers a variety of programs, including Fishes & Loaves Food Pantry, Muskegon Parents for a Great Start, a baby and toddler pantry, God’s Kitchen Along the Lakeshore and other programs, including foster care and adoption support, behavioral health and counseling and senior services.
Workcamp is still looking for individuals and businesses willing to loan ladders during the week of July 7-13. Those who are interested should label their ladder with a name and contact phone number and then drop it off at Muskegon Catholic Central beginning Wednesday, July 3.
Muskegon Workcamp is sponsored by Independent Bank, Ameriform, Prince of Peace Church and Prince of Peace Council of Catholic Women. The program has received additional support from St. Frances de Sales, St. Michael’s, McKenzie-Price Agency and individual donors, as well as in-kind support from St. Mary/Our Lady of Grace.
The Group Workcamps Foundation is a non-profit interdenominational Christian volunteer organization focused on home repair. Headquartered in Loveland, Colo., Group Workcamps expects more than 16,000 high school students and adults will volunteer their time to repair homes for a week in 40 communities across the United States and Canada.
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