St. Paul’s Team to Work With the Appalachia Service Project in West Virginia

Adult leaders Amy McGlothlin, Emily Mitchell, and John Mitchell, and youth participant Emily McSwain are ready to head to West Virginia next Saturday, July 11, for a week of home repair and construction with Appalachia Service Project. - Courtesy image
Adult leaders Amy McGlothlin, Emily Mitchell, and John Mitchell, and youth participant Emily McSwain are ready to head to West Virginia next Saturday, July 11, for a week of home repair and construction with Appalachia Service Project. – Courtesy image

Submitted by St. Paul’s Episopal Church

Bedford's ASP participants built a wheelchair ramp during their 2013 visit, and several will return this summer. L-R John Mitchell, Nate Presti, Ethan Schalick. Cassie Baker, Natalie Schalick, Emily Mitchell - Courtesy image
Bedford’s ASP participants built a wheelchair ramp during their 2013 visit, and several will return this summer. L-R John Mitchell, Nate Presti, Ethan Schalick. Cassie Baker, Natalie Schalick, Emily Mitchell – Courtesy image

On Saturday, July 11, eleven teens and four adult leaders from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will depart Bedford and travel to Nicholas County, West Virginia, for a week with Appalachia Service Project (ASP). With other groups from around the East Coast, the St. Paul’s team will help make a small but meaningful impact, working to help area residents stay warmer, safer, and drier throughout the year. The team will repair roofs, install insulation, build access ramps for disabled residents, and replace siding, while also forging a human connection with the families they serve.

This trip is the second with ASP for the high school youth group of St. Paul’s. In 2013, two adults led four high school students to Logan County, West Virginia. Three teens and both adults from that trip are returning this year.  Nate Presti, 17, a junior at Bedford High School and one of the returning youth members, is particularly excited to return. “The first trip was awesome,” says Presti. “We worked on three different homes, learned how to use all kinds of tools, and were able to make a real difference for the homeowners. I can’t wait to go back.” This year, he will be joined on the trip by his sister, Sonia, 15, a sophomore at BHS.

Families are a trend in this year’s work crews: in addition to the Presti siblings, participants include twins Hannah and Cooper Wait; siblings Natalie, Ethan, and Mason Schalick; and father-son team John and Ian MacPhee. Emily McSwain, Amy Martin, and Helen Pulizzi round out the youth participants, with John and Emily Mitchell and Amy McGlothlin also serving as adult leaders. All of the youth volunteers are current or former students at Bedford High School.

The group has been raising money all year to support the trip, including selling Lumps of Coal at last December’s Advent Fair and hosting a Flatbread Benefit Night in March. St. Paul’s also dedicated its Advent Giving Tree to ASP this year, receiving donations from parishioners of needed tools and other supplies that they’ll deliver to the center in Nicholas County for use by volunteers and residents.

Appalachia Service Project is a Christian service organization, open to all people, that inspires hope and service through volunteer home repair in Central Appalachia. Adult and youth volunteers work in communities in five states—Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia—rehabilitating the trailers and small houses that many residents of these states call home. Central Appalachia is home to some of the worst and most persistent poverty in the United States. Poverty in the region is double the national average, and more than 1 in 4 persons lives below the poverty line. 62,500 homes are considered substandard, and 21,000 lack complete plumbing.

Click to read about St. Paul’s 2013 service trip to West Virginia

 


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