Church youth spend week helping neighborhood
Traffic might be moving a little slower down Fall Street in Carthage this week because of all the children in the street, but these children are not playing.
Brent Perrigo, youth minister at the Fairview Christian Church, said he brought 50 children in grades 4 through 6 to spend two hours a day for a week helping the residents of this central Carthage neighborhood.
Ila and Marvin Sanders, 417 Fall St., have been the beneficiaries of much of the work done by these youngsters.
"The parents of these kids should be proud of them and if they don't think they can work, they need to just come on this block and they'd see the work these kids can do," Ila Sanders said. "They tore our fence down and cut a tree down, they've tore our shed down, they're repainting and they're going to put our fence back up, they've been just wonderful. They're going to get us another shed back there and the church has just been really wonderful."
Perrigo said Garrison construction donated a roll-off trash container and the group has told people in the neighborhood to use it as they would like for a week.
He said the week is a service project for the children.
"We've brought 50 fourth through sixth graders who are serving Fall Street," Perrigo said. "We just ask the neighbors what we can do to help them, what they need assistance with. We're tearing down fences, tearing down a shed, putting a new shed in, tearing out poison oak which is a bit interesting, painting a picket fence, hauling away debris. We're just having a good time blessing people and that's what it's all about."
Cheryl Cooper, a volunteer with the group, said the adults are watching to make sure the children don't overheat in this weather.
"We have one empty house that's air conditioned, and we have a bathroom in there, and we've got a first aid station set up in there," Cooper said. "We have ice water, we have snacks for them. They come in at intervals and I check them to make sure that they're not getting overheated. We've had a few cuts and scrapes and bandages and some stomach aches."
Cherith Parnell, 10, said the week was for learning about giving.
"We're picking up all kinds of brush and bricks and all types of stuff they want to get rid of," Parnell said. "We're throwing it away and redoing things and just helping them out with everything they need."
Kaitlyn Blades, 9, agreed.
"We're out here to help Mr. Marvin with his house because he's getting to the point where he's hurt and he can't do all the stuff," she said. "We're learning to not just help ourselves, but to go out and help others."