This summer, the young volunteers with the Carolina Cross Connection are back in McDowell County to help deserving folks with their minor home repairs.
Residents across western North Carolina can once again receive minor home repairs free of charge, thanks to the Carolina Cross Connection, a Christian outreach ministry based out of Concord. Youth and adult volunteers with the ministry will offer their services to the elderly, poverty-stricken, the disabled and other folks in need throughout June and July. The teen volunteers range in ages of 13 to 18 and there are young adults too willing to lend a helping hand.
Carolina Cross Connection is a non-profit Christian mission organization which was started in 1988. This summer, the Carolina Cross Connection will bring in hundreds of young volunteers with the goal of working for more than 600 families across western North Carolina. The ministry offers services such as light construction, interior and exterior painting, yard work and general house cleaning. The work is offered free of charge. Homeowners are encouraged to provide any needed building materials or to help with those expenses, though it is not required.
Camp Director Laura Brown said the volunteers can do floor repairs in houses and underpinning of mobile homes. However, they cannot do roof repairs.
The volunteers started working in McDowell on June 15 and will keep up their efforts for the next six weeks. About 250 to 300 youth and adults will work in McDowell and other nearby counties over the summer, according to Brown.
Leaders of the Carolina Cross Connection said young volunteers look forward to spending the summer in western North Carolina, but they need some eligible folks to put them to work. The volunteers strive to do more than just work but to impact people’s lives and this community for the better.
“I believe that youth and adults who come to serve this area love to give because of the love they have received from God,” said Brown. “And it’s always really cool to see them receive the love from the families they work for.”
Earlier this week, a group of Carolina Cross Connection volunteers worked to build a wheelchair ramp for the home of Tony and Reba Anders, who live on Owl Hollow Road. By Wednesday, it was done.
“It feels good to give back,” said Victoria Grubbs, 18, of Reidsville. This is her third year of volunteering with the ministry.
“It makes you feel very accomplished,” said Hayley Robertson, 15, of Asheville. This is her second year.
Reba Anders said these young volunteers were the answer to a prayer. She is grateful that her husband, who is confined to a wheelchair, now has a ramp.
“I think it’s awesome and I thank the Lord for all of them,” she said. “I prayed to the Lord to send someone to build a ramp. He sent them.”
Volunteers working in McDowell are housed at Camp McCall in Bostic, one of five locations from which CCC will operate this summer. The other locations for the CCC volunteers are in Lenoir. Wilkesboro and Casar. At each location, church groups from across North Carolina and the Southeast form work teams that go out to serve in the surrounding communities. The volunteers will also travel throughout the community seeking donations for their efforts.
Brown said all of the volunteers will wear shirts and carry cards bearing the Carolina Cross Connection logo. That way the elderly and disabled will know that they are legitimate members of the organization and not some scam artist going door to door looking for victims.
Staff and participants are still looking for people who can put them to work. They would also appreciate any donations of lumber or paint for the projects occurring this summer.
Anyone who could benefit from their services, or knows of someone else who could, can call the Carolina Cross Connection at 828-247-1545 or 704-721-0033. You can also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.carolinacrossconnection.org.