More than 30 local residents are counting the days to the week of June 15-21, 2014. At that time, more than 200 teenagers and adult volunteers from churches around the country will be in town, participating in the Pensacola Workcamp. The Workcamp will be providing free home improvements through the national Group Cares (formerly Group Workcamps Foundation) program, sponsored locally by GRACE (Giving Restoring And Christian Engagement) of Pensacola.
Group Cares is a non-profit, interdenominational Christian volunteer home improvement organization headquartered in Loveland, Colorado. In the summer of 2014, an anticipated 25,000 young people and adults will participate in 48 Workcamps in communities across the United States and Canada.
At each Workcamp, the church youth groups volunteer a week of their time to repair homes throughout the community. Repairs and improvements include exterior painting, weatherization, porch and wheelchair ramp construction, and other work. “In Pensacola alone, the estimated 10,000 hours of volunteer labor and materials will have an economic impact of over $250,000”.” said Warren Jerrems, Site Supervisor of GRACE of Pensacola.
“These really are remarkable young people,” said Jeff Thompson of Group Cares. “Each one is actually paying for the privilege of working in your community. Workcamp registration fees are used to cover our costs for food, insurance, and building materials.”
The Workcamp will be housed at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola, 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 Escambia County Schools,” remarked Warren Jerrems. Group Cares will reimburse all costs to Washington High School.