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Mission: McDuffie is looking for local homes in need of repair

A local mission project is looking for volunteers, but not the typical kind of volunteers.

The type of volunteer Mission: McDuffie is looking for won't have to do anything but sit back and let a bunch of teenagers from area churches fix up their house.

This is the third year that area youth groups have helped with minor repair work, painting and other odd jobs for homeowners in McDuffie County who can't afford to have the work done themselves. It has grown each year, and event organizers hope this year will be no exception.

"We had 140 people that (helped) last year. I hope we have at least that many this year," said David Lambert, Mission: McDuffie organizer and youth minister at First Baptist Church of Thomson.

In 2003, the event -- then called Mission: Thomson -- saw a total of 10 houses repaired or painted. Mr. Lambert said the houses are chosen according to the greatest need and the type of work that the teenagers are capable of doing.

"We had some houses last year that what they needed done was beyond what we were capable of doing, so we couldn't work on those houses," he said. "But if it falls within our parameters of what we can do, we look at the ones that need it the most, and then we just go based on that."

Most of the groups find themselves painting houses, but one group last year removed the screen from a porch, painted the porch, and then put up new screen. Groups will also clean up yards in addition to repairs and painting.

If the event's organizers have their way, those in need of work done to their houses will get something more than just a spiffy like-new home. Church leaders hope that people in the community will see what the Church is all about.

"We hope that we'll show people the relevancy of the Church, that the Church cares about the community, that we are here as servants to lend a hand and to help meet their needs," Mr. Lambert said. "Hopefully through that they'll be able to see the love of God, and that God cares about them and where they are and what their situation is. Through us, He is meeting their need and providing for them."

Applications for homes to be considered as a project for Mission: McDuffie are now available at Manna, Agape Outreach Ministries, the Salvation Army store, the Boys' and Girls' Club, the Department of Family and Children Services, the Health Department, the Senior Citizens' Center, First Baptist Church of Thomson, Thomson Presbyterian, First United Methodist Church of Thomson, Marshall Baptist and Dearing Baptist.

Any churches wanting to participate in Mission: McDuffie or individuals wishing to donate materials can contact Mr. Lambert at 595-4252.

Web posted on Friday, June 11, 2004

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