A total of 93 volunteers from New Jersey were in Johnson County last week, working with Good Neighbors to improve the homes of more than 8 residents, according to Kayla Webb, who serves Good Neighbors as a site leader and through her membership in AmeriCorps.
Webb said that the volunteers she worked with in her group were from St. Joseph’s Church, of Mendham, New Jersey, and were aged 15 to 18 years old. The group worked in the Hagerhill community, performing plumbing repairs, building new walls, digging trenches and more, according to Webb.
Webb had high praise for the efforts of the teenaged volunteers, lauding their work ethic and their lack of complaints.
“They choose to spend a whole week of their summer vacation volunteering in the extreme heat, and never complain, just to help complete strangers have a comfortable and livable home,” Webb said. “They have such big hearts and I’m so blessed to have been able to experience this with them.”
In addition to Webb’s group of seven teens from St. Joseph’s Church’s youth group, two adult leaders from St. Joseph’s Church and Joshua Glasshagel, a Good Neighbors staff member from Crystal Lake, Illinois, there were nine other groups working on other projects throughout the county.
According to Webb, seeing young people come from so far away and volunteer their time and effort is always a pleasant and reaffirming experience.
“(The volunteers) completely restore my faith in humanity,” Webb said. “Words cannot describe how much love I have for this group of people … I could never forget any of you and I hope to see you all again next year.”
For more information, or to keep up with upcoming Good Neighbors Appalachia events and projects, search for Good Neighbors Appalachia on Facebook, or contact their Van Lear office by phone at, (606) 887-0082.