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Project will mark its 10th anniversary

Mission: McDuffie will kick off another year of service to the community Sunday with a celebration of its 10th anniversary.

The celebration, which is open to anyone who has participated in the project, either as a worker or a resident who benefited from it, will begin at 4 p.m. at First United Methodist Church. The Rev. David Lambert, the minister of youth and Christian activities at First Baptist Church, said it will include videos looking back at the 10 years of the program, which began as Mission: Thomson.

A hot dog and hamburger picnic will begin at 5 p.m., and a kickoff rally will start at 6. Anyone who plans to attend is asked to call or e-mail First Baptist. Lambert said items such as coffee mugs, Frisbees and sports bags will be sold to raise funds for the annual effort.

On Monday, about 200 mostly young people will fan out into the community to paint and fix up homes of the needy. They will work from 7:30 a.m. until noon through June 9, painting, doing yard work and repairs and building wheelchair ramps. Residents pay nothing for the work.

The Rev. David Harbeson, the minister of music and youth at Dearing Baptist Church, who is leading the effort with Lambert, said last week that he had about 35 applications from people wanting work done on their homes, about the same number as last year.

"Some of those I would call double jobs because some will require painting and yard work. Some are one or the other," he said.

He said he expects 160 to 190 young people to join the effort. Some adults will also be involved to offer expertise and supervision, pushing total participation to more than 200, he said.

He said the group would welcome the donation of more materials and supplies.

"Paint supplies, we're OK," he said. "And we're working on some of the construction supplies. If somebody wants to give us money or stuff to build wheelchair ramps, we'll happily receive it."

He hopes the sale of items at Sunday's anniversary celebration will spread awareness of the project throughout the community.

"We've been doing this for 10 years, and there are still people who don't know anything about it," he said.

Harbeson recently estimated the value of the work last year at more than $24,000, based on the minimum wage.

Web posted on Thursday, June 02, 2011

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