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Mission:McDuffie helps homes, residents

He never imagined having someone work on his house could be so good - they were polite, respectful, friendly and hard-working. And they didn't charge anything.

Young people from Mission:McDuffie worked on Leon Adkins' house last week, painting, replacing boards and doing yard work.

"They were wonderful," the Quail Farm Road resident said. "They've got a lot of respect, saying 'sir' and 'ma'am' and they were very friendly. It looks real nice. They cut stuff that was way back in places we couldn't get to (in the yard)."

In it's eighth year and organized by local youth ministers, Mission:McDuffie pairs youth and adult volunteers who are willing to paint, repair, clean up and do yard work with needy homeowners in the county. First Baptist Youth Minister David Lambert said 140 people spent one week at 26 different sites this year, where they cleared trash and underbrush, hauled away debris and junk, built a wheel chair ramp, replaced a tin roof, painted, removed some trees and did some minor masonry repair work.

The volunteers worked four four-hour days, totaling 2,240 man hours, Rev. Lambert said.

"If you multiply that times minimum wage, it comes to $14,672 worth of labor, free to our community," he said. "It was nice on Thursday night to hear the words of appreciation expressed and to get a sense of how much it really meant to the homeowners."

Every day after their work, the youth attended an evening worship rally at Thomson First United Methodist Church where they discussed the day's events.

"It was a lot of fun and hard work at the same time, and it got a little bit dirty," said 16-year-old Ryan Chambers. "The best thing was being able to work and worship with my friends."

The homeowners were invited to Thursday night's rally to have a pizza dinner with the young people and express their appreciation for the help they received. Mr. Adkins said this was not his first experience with the Mission:McDuffie young people - they built a wheelchair ramp and a deck on his home for his wife last year.

"She's really enjoyed it," the Adkins' daughter, Cheryl Harris, said at Thursday's rally. "She never got out of the house until they did that. Now, she goes off with us all the time, and she goes out and sits on the deck every day. It's made her so much happier and helped her not be depressed anymore."

Anyone wishing to participate in Mission:McDuffie 2010, those interested in involving their church, or homeowners hoping to apply for work to be done next year can contact Rev. Lambert at 706-595-4252.


1) mission2 -- cutline: Evan Gheesling scrapes a railing during Mission:McDuffie last week.

Web posted on Thursday, June 11, 2009

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