Hundreds of teens from Arlington church plan to fix over 100 homes in a week
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
Summer break usually means trips to the beach or days by the pool, but hundreds of teenagers are making the most of their time off from school by helping others.
With the bang of a hammer, the power of a drill and a fresh coat of paint, the teenagers spent Wednesday helping transform Kyle Adair's bedroom in Stafford, Virginia.
"What I'm trying to do is make his room cleaner, safer and drier," said Jordan Faustin, one of the many volunteers.
The group is part of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington's WorkCamp. More than 800 teens are spending the week fixing up homes for families in need. They plan on completing 190 projects in nine northern and central Virginia counties.
"You're not going to get the same satisfaction out of going to the beach that you're going to get helping and painting and doing all this great stuff," said Caroline Whichard, who is volunteering for the first time.
Adair is 19-years-old and was born with Cerebral Palsy. His muscles contract on the right side of his body, and he's wheelchair bound.
The young volunteers are helping build him a larger door to the bathroom, which will provide easier access for his chair.
"I like it because it really needed to be done and it's really helpful," said Adair, who lives with his grandparents.
A ramp off Adair's bedroom is the only way for him to get in and out of his home. This week, the teens also replaced some of the boards, put on a new railing and stained the wood.
Adair's grandmother, Susan, said she is grateful for the renovation and the company.
"I don't know anything about construction, so this has been a Godsend for me and these kids are wonderful," she said. “It helps the caretakers and it helps him, it gives him some independence."
It's a labor of love, and a chance for Adair to bond with kids his own age.
"Kyle makes our day so much better, he’s always with us and he always has a smile on his face," Faustin said.
The week-long experience, which is based out of Massaponax High School in Fredericksburg, will also include daily mass, an evening program complete with music and talks to help the young people reflect upon the experience, and other high-energy activities for the youth and adult leaders.