Philipsburg Area Residents to Get Free Home Repairs

PHILIPSBURG – As many as 70 local residents may benefit from the work provided by a projected 400 adult and youth volunteers at the Philipsburg Group Workcamp 2014.

The Workcamp, scheduled for July 27 through Aug. 2, 2014 will provide free home repairs through the Group Workcamps Foundation program.  This camp is the fourth time that Central Pennsylvania Community Action (CPCA) has co-sponsored Group Workcamp. CPCA has raised more than $19,000 so far to bring Workcamp back to our community in 2014.

The Group Workcamps Foundation is a non-profit, interdenominational Christian volunteer home-repair organization that’s headquartered in Loveland, Colo. Workcamps are intensive one-week trips that help people grow in Christian faith through service.  Individuals and youth from around the country will spend one week in the community performing hands-on home-repair projects for elderly, low-income, and disabled families.

At each Workcamp, youth and adults from church youth groups, volunteer a week of their time to repair homes throughout the community. Their time represents about 12,000 hours of volunteer labor that is worth at least $80,000 to the community.  Each camper is actually paying for the privilege to work in the community.  Workcamp registration fees are used to cover costs for food, lodging, insurance and building materials.

This Workcamp will be housed at the Philipsburg-Osceola High School, with Workcampers sleeping on classroom floors, eating in the cafeteria and enjoying evening programs in the gym.  This service to the community would be impossible without the cooperation of the Philipsburg-Osceola High School.

The idea behind the Workcamps started in Colorado in 1977 when residents suffered from the Big Thompson River flood in which hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed and more than 140 people lost their lives.  Church youth groups of many different denominations came from across the country the next summer to help.

In 1978, the program went nationwide to include other disadvantaged areas throughout the country.  This summer 41 Workcamps will take place in many different states, including but not limited to Michigan, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Iowa, Ohio, Illinois, Maine, New York, Tennessee, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. Now in its 37th year of service, the Group Workcamps Foundation has hosted nearly 300,000 volunteers who have logged more than 6 million volunteer hours.

Repairs offered through the Workcamp include interior and exterior painting, weatherization, porch and wheelchair ramp construction, mobile home skirting, and other work.  Residents interested in applying to receive assistance must live within a 25-mile radius of the Philipsburg-Osceola High School. To apply residents may call Leah Albright of CPCA at 814-765-1551 or 800-822-2610 ext., 1129 for an application.

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