Our View: Reach Workcamp is a win-win for teens and homeowners
Youth from Sylacauga have been participating in a special kind of mission program for about eight years now, and this year the mission is their hometown.

Reach Workcamps, a Colorado faith-based ministry, has offered seventh through 12 graders an opportunity to join together in service to other people by performing repairs on the homes of elderly, disabled or low-income families who could use the help.

Over the next two weeks, hundreds of young people from Pennsylvania, Kentucky, the Carolinas and from right here in Alabama are donating their time to be a part of helping others.

They’re also reaping benefits that can be helpful to them for years to come.

Not only will they get the chance to learn practical, new, hands-on skills through the work they do with adult supervision, but they stand a very good chance of enhancing their self-esteem as they make new friends and discover strengths and abilities they didn’t know they had.

Most have left their homes to help people in a part of the country they’ve never seen before, giving of their time and energy to help total strangers. They will learn that they can make a difference in the lives of others.

The camp also encourages teens to keep a journal of their workcamp, to reflect on what they have seen and done and the people they have met.

They are also encouraged to get to know the “neighbors” they are helping, to learn something about their experiences in life and the kind of people they are.

It’s a win-win situation, and we’re happy to see it happening in our area. Work crews plan to head out to 21 worksites in Alpine, Childersburg, Sycamore and Sylacauga to perform home repairs at no cost to the homeowners.

It takes adults to make the program work. Sylacauga’s First United Methodist Church partnered with SAFE Family Services Center to help bring the youth to Sylacauga. Donations of time and materials were also made by the Sylacauga Home Depot, City Schools, Walmart, Coosa Valley Medical Center, Farr Construction and a number of volunteers.

It’s a cooperative effort of the kind that cam bring out the very best in people. We appreciate the work that’s been done to make it possible and commend those involved.

© 2013