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Reaching Out to Help

Photo by Eugenia Jones
Volunteers for the Appalachia Service Project have been hard at work in McCreary County.

 

Appalachia Service Project (ASP) volunteers have been hard at work over the summer in McCreary County, travelling throughout the county with their emergency home repair ministry. Their goal is to eradicate substandard housing throughout Central Appalachia.

“Our mission is to provide ‘warmer, safer, dryer’ housing,” remarked center director, Audrey Sherk.

The organization consists mostly of high school age volunteers with some college age students serving as group leaders. Volunteer adults, including parents and ministers, serve as leaders. The group uses the fees collected for volunteering and money raised through fundraising to help fund their home improvement projects.

The group is scheduled to work in McCreary County for approximately seven weeks with new teams of volunteers rotating in and out weekly. All work is free with minimum requirements; however, there is an application process. From the 150 applications received, the group visited thirty to forty homes and will be able to work on ten (possibly eleven) McCreary County homes this summer. Applications are accepted at all times and can be submitted online or in paper format. More information can be found online at asphome.org.

“We accept people just the way they are-and that includes both homeowners and volunteers,” Sherk commented. “We average about sixty volunteers per week with around 420 volunteers by the end of the seven weeks.”

The group does it all, including roofs, new bathroom walls, and porches. Volunteers this summer have already provided new insulation and siding for one home along with new floors, roof, drywall, and bathroom. With the improvements, the home is now livable and eligible for electricity. A second home, with holes in the floor, received new flooring.

The volunteers have been staying at the Flat Rock Baptist Church.

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