YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. -- Sixteen members of the Yorktown United Methodist Church will be leaving Yorktown on Sunday, July 13, to go on one of their two annual mission trips.
The group consists of 11 high school students and five adults. They are headed to Eliot, Maine for one week, where they will fix up houses for people who are not physically or financially able to do so on their own. Once in Maine, they will be joined by volunteers from five other churches from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont.
"People forget that it’s not just citizens of third world countries that need and deserve our help; it’s people in our own communities, too,” said Nicole Meeker, who volunteers from the Yorktown church.
Approximately 100 people will participate in the mission project. The churches provide their own tools and resources so that they can complete their projects free of charge to the charity recipient.
To cover their costs, people volunteering for the trip pay a $330 admission charge. Other church members pledge additional amounts to help defray costs. Sleeping on church floors and cooking their own food (as the volunteers do) reduces expenses as well.
By design, the majority of the people on the trip are of high school age.
“When youth get involved in mission, whether in the church or beyond its walls, there is the great opportunity for changed lives," said Gene Ott, pastor of Yorktown United Methodist.
"The younger that we can get our folks involved in mission, the greater possibility there is for positive personal, societal and systemic change both for them and for others."
The largest individual project being targeted in this year’s effort is the construction of a wheelchair ramp.