Hundreds of teens from several surrounding states are giving up a week of their summer to spend time cleaning up a community that isn't even theirs.
Hosted by Northside Church of Christ in Wichita, some 200 teens are taking on a number of clean up projects in Wichita all week long. Divided up into about 20 groups, the youth are helping fix and repair 16 homes for Wichita families in need, helping the City of Wichita by cleaning and painting over several graffiti locations, picking up trash, and even helping renovate a local soup kitchen by sealing the floor and repainting.
"That's kind of out motto at Wichita Work Camp, serving God through serving people," said Toby Levering, director of the Wichita Work Camp.
This is the seventh year for the church to host this work camp, Levering said. Some sponsors and students come back year after year but for others, like 13-year-old Hailey Northcott, this is her first year and she couldn't be more excited to help.
" I think it's just showing God's love and spreading Jesus' light," said Hailey. "Showing that God can help people and he can do great things through us."
Hailey and some 20 other teens spent the week repainting and repairing the home of Wichita resident Jackie Sanders. Sanders' home was built in 1887, and although she's put in a lot of work on the house over the past 16 years she's owned it, she said the help from this volunteer group has been a blessing.
"I've been disabled now for like six years from cancer, in remission, but I'm not able to do this stuff anymore," said Sanders. "I've prayed about it for ten years and they've given me hope. And these kids are just dynamic, I cannot believe it."
The Wichita Work Camp runs through Friday, June 6.