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Work Group groups throughout neighboring states assist Winchester residents

Upwards of 400 teens and adults from church groups in and around the country arrived in Winchester this weekend to take part in home-repair projects for those in need as part of the Group Mission Trips Work Camp program.

The annual Work Group project sees church volunteers constructing ramps and porches, repairing trailers, painting ceilings, and other tasks for the elderly, those can’t afford to get the work done, and those with disabilities. At least 39 households in Winchester will benefit from this week’s program.

“I’m physically handicapped and my vision is going, getting worse every day,” Elwood Thomas said as volunteers worked diligently at his house replacing the boards on his back porch, painting the shudders on his home and painting his backyard shed.

Work camp volunteers traveled to Winchester from 13 different churches representing eight different states from as far away as Nebraska and Wisconsin are staying at Campbell Junior High School, with school staff providing breakfast and dinner for campers.

Campers work on houses from about 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. each weekday, except Wednesday when campers take a partial day off to explore local attractions.

Shannon Cox, chairman of the Clark County Salvation Army, helped bring the camp to Winchester. He said the Work Camp program not only brings assistance to families, but an economic impact to the area as well. The group is expected to spend about $65,000 while in Clark County, between purchasing supplies and enjoying downtown.

The Work Group program, co-sponsored by the Clark County Salvation Army and Clark County Community Services, is funded by the home churches of volunteers along with Group Mission Trips – the 501(c)(3) organization hosting the event. Each volunteer pays a fee to participate.

“I’m just so excited that someone was able to help me,” said Beverly Glover, another Work Camp beneficiary in Winchester.

John Thierfelder, who arrive from Wisconsin with his group, explained that they’re helping Glover break down, replace and paint the porch on the side of her home.

“Our group has been participating in the work camp program for 15 years,” said Thierfelder. “We’re very happy to be here and get a chance to serve people in the community and serve out Lord. We’ve been looking forward to that for two years now, since the event had to be postponed last year.”

Thierfelder added that as many as 60 teams were formed to assist with local project. Those leading the groups include Jacob Meighen, Morris Fee, Roberto Pagan, Michael Winter, Steve Holmes and Tim Presley. “I’m just so happy we get to participate in the Work Camp program again,” said Cox. “We plan to continue for many years to come.”

For more information on the Group Mission Trips Work Camp program, visit the organization’s Website at https://www.groupmissiontrips.com.

Work requests are submitted through Clark County Community Services at https://www.clarkcountycommunityservices.org/workcamp/.

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