Members of the Smithville Church of Christ are lending a hand to neighbors in need this week.
Through the church sponsored work camp, volunteers are going out into the community to make minor repairs and upgrades to homes and properties of several low income families. "We've built some handicapped ramps. We've cleaned up a lot of brush and done yard work and things that have just gotten out of hand for people who could not get to it or who didn't have the time, ability or the tools and equipment to do it. We're trying to make a difference in the community," said Tim Woodward, Involvement Minister of the Smithville Church of Christ.
Woodward said this is the church's first project of this kind locally. "It's the first time we've ever done it. The idea was born out of some mission work we had done. We had been to Mexico for eleven years doing some construction work on church buildings and then we went to South Carolina for seven years. We went to Tuba City, Arizona to a Navajo Indian Reservation out there and did some work. We always talked on those trips about doing something here locally so we got together the first of the year and came up a plan and sent out some applications. We got some back and word spread that we were doing some projects for people in the city and county that either couldn't afford to do the projects or couldn't do it themselves," he said.
Families served through the work camp are not required to pay for the services. "We had a special contribution at church a couple of months ago. Our goal was to pay for all the necessary supplies and things that we need. There have been some (families) who have said I can afford to pay but I just can't do the work. They have graciously done that and it has allowed our resources to go a little bit further," said Woodward.
The church volunteers hope to complete about twenty five projects this week during the work camp. Woodward said he is hopeful the program will become an annual event. "We've averaged about 45 people out working Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We've had a good turnout. We've got some ladies that cook our lunch and supper for us. We eat and go back at it. We're kind of feeling our way through it but we hope it becomes an annual event. We would like to eventually invite other youth groups to be part of it. Hopefully it will only get bigger and better," said Woodward.