Mid-Ohio Valley Workers Camp; Teens Help To Paint Local Homes

By: Brittany Lowe Email
By: Brittany Lowe Email

More than five hundred teens helping to improve 41 local homes.
It's the Mid-Ohio Valley Work Camp bringing in youth groups from across the country, taking on it's thirteenth year of touching lives.

Traveling five minutes to 18-hours.
Teens from across the country make an impact right here in the Valley.

"When we come here we do the best we can to just bring joy to some people's lives in a very different way, a very positive way," says one volunteer traveling from Florida.

The volunteers have less than a week to scrape, prime, and paint working through the summer heat.

"It amazes me how they will take a week out of their summer and not only take a week out of their summer, but not work a week because a lot of them work during the summer, but pay money to come up here and scrap and paint somebody's house. That's pretty amazing," explains a Nashville Youth Leader, Andrew Soureds.

The workers say it's all worth it, touching lives and making new friends.

"The people that we serve here, it's awesome to meet them and hear their stories and show Jesus to them, through us," explains one volunteer from Nashville returning for the second year, Holly Holtz.

"If we can, depending on the owner, we like to try and build relationships with them and get to know them and who they are and then get them connected to a local church, so it's not just a, we're going to serve you one time and forget about you, but we're actually going to pour into your life and spend time with you," explains Soureds.

Whether a first year volunteer or a six year veteran the workers say they create a true bond through the work.

"Every year I know, a lot of our kids make a connection with kids from all over the country and every year they come back and they're just really good friends and they catch up," says Holtz.

The last day the teams meet with the family they helped for dinner to get to know them better and see what an impact they truly made.

"We're just happy to do it to see these people smile and just bring happiness and joy to someone's life," says a volunteer from Florida.

Since the program started in 1999 the Mid Ohio Valley Work Camp has painted 400 homes.

While the students are here their housing is provided by Ohio Valley University and all funding, food, and supplies are provided by community grants and business donations.

Mid-Ohio Valley Work Camp is made possible by grants from the McDonough Foundation, Wood County Commission, Marietta Community Foundation, KT Community Foundation, the City of Vienna, and Belpre Rotary Club. Support from the local businesses of Peoples Bank, Burger King, Alliance Petroleum Corp., Harbor Freight, Kraton, and Thermofisher. The area churches of Christ, Evergreen Bible Church, and countless businesses and individuals also assist in providing funding, food, and supplies.

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