“Students of human development tell us that basic values are formed in the decisive adolescent years. Without such experiences, children of affluence do not experience the clash of idealism and reality necessary to moral growth. Greed, once a vice, has become a virtue and infects us all. We need to serve not only children at risk of poverty but children at risk of affluence.” ~ Rev. Richard Gilbert , in an essay about the importance of youth going on mission trips
Every year, high school students from UUCC travel to War, West Virginia on a service trip. We partner with Big Creek People in Action to do simple house repairs, painting, drywall hanging, and whatever work the town residents have requested help with.
Here’s a description of the work we do, directly from Big Creek People in Action (BCPIA):
Applications are taken by BCPIA staff of home repairs needed by the elderly, poor, or disabled residents of Big Creek District. Staff visits the homes and decides if our groups can do the job, and if so, what supplies are needed. Work groups are matched to projects that they have the skills to work on. Some groups can only paint or clean, while other groups bring certified contractors with them that can do roofing, electrical, carpentry, and other skilled labor.
Another aspect of our Volunteer Services Program is cultural immersion. We introduce our groups to traditional Appalachian music, flat-footing, community tours, visits to the Bluegrass Hall and Muncy Cabin, tours of local coal mines, and conversations with local people who tell their stories of “life in the coalfields.”
BCPIA assists people in providing safe, warm and dry homes for their families through housing rehabilitation. Safe, warm and dry—this is our motto, adopted courtesy of a faith-based group that comes to our Center year after year. It is the perfect description of how we feel about the work we do. All families deserve to live in a home that is safe, warm and dry. However due to age of structures and limited resources in families, this is not always within their ability to attain. In addition, our efforts in housing rehabilitation not only helps people with their home repair needs but brings people into the area from all over the US. During visits, groups of people gain teamwork and leadership skills, and learn about the importance of volunteerism and cultural sharing.
We are seeking interested parties – youth (ages 14 and up, please) and adults – who have skill and enthusiasm to share, who are ready to learn more and be a part of a larger community. Our 2019 trip will be from Saturday, August 10 through Friday, August 16. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Youth Director Jen Raffensperger or Director of Religious Education Robin Slaw for more information!
PLEASE NOTE: All adults attending the service trip to West Virginia must agree to a background check.
This year’s information sheet is here.
This year’s Costs Contract is here.
If you are definitely interested, please sign up here.
If you have already signed up and need the Permission Slip, it is here!