Twenty-two local teenagers and twelve adult volunteers have recently returned from a week in West Virginia where they worked to help restore homes that were in need of repair.
The group, most of whom are members of in Bridgewater, joined with teens from St. Mark’s church in Basking Ridge, to be part of a volunteer program known as ASP, Appalachia Service Project.
ASP is a Christian home repair ministry focused on helping make the homes of needy families in Appalachia warmer, safer and dryer. During the time this group was in West Virginia, some replaced walls and floors in houses that had been made uninhabitable by floods. Others worked on replacing a roof, redoing siding, removing carpeting and replacing a rotting floor.
A vital part of the youth program at St. Martin’s, this is the 13th year that this church has sponsored an ASP group. The teenagers and their leaders, led by Bob Manci of Branchburg, work throughout the year raising funds for the trip and learning the necessary skills.
Without exception, the teens find that they gain much more than they give as they make new friends and form bonds with the families whose homes they repair as well as a new appreciation for their own suburban life styles.