Student volunteers fix up Midlands houses for charity

By Logan Smith - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A Midlands charity is spreading some post-Christmas cheer among elderly or disabled homeowners. Home Works of America does house repairs for people who, for financial or health reasons, can't help themselves.

With school out of session and snow on the ground, you'd think outdoor construction is the last thing most students would want to spend their Christmas break doing. But a young group of volunteers is helping their neighbors in need one nail at a time.

Forget playing with Christmas presents and video games. These students are spending their vacation working with power tools and construction equipment.

They're volunteering for Home Works of America, which helps out the Midlands' less fortunate by fixing up houses and doing yard work for people who are unable.

"I firmly believe that youth want to do good, and that's what you see here," said Home Works founder Hank Chardos. "You see kids that are out here with temperatures below freezing, and having a terrific time."

120 youth from all over the South are giving up a week of their Christmas break to repair eight homes in Columbia.

For Preston Busbee, who has been helping out Home Works for half a decade, it's all about helping others. "They need stuff done, and this is a great time to get together with friends and family and do something that really means a lot to the homeowners," said Busbee.

at the end of the day, organizers say the volunteers benefit just as much. "Not only teaches them life skills, but gives them the opportunity to share their faith and make a difference in the community," said Chardos.

The work may be difficult -- not to mention cold -- but it's all worth it to see the finished product. "They're just so thankful that we can do something to help them out, put a roof over their head, keep water out of their house, and just little things that bring them hope," said Busbee.

Hope for a blessed and empowered community, and also for some warmer weather.

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