Tuesday 19 February 2019
  • :
  • :

United Way of the Lowcountry and Catholic HEART Work Camp partner to Help Our Neighbors

While many kids spend their summer break playing video games and swimming, others from around the country take one week out of their summer to lend a helping hand to neighbors in our community through the Catholic HEART (Helping Everyone Attain Repairs Today) Work Camp.
Earlier this summer, more than 285 students from across the nation came together here in the Lowcountry for the 19th Annual Catholic Heart Work Camp.  United Way of the Lowcountry coordinates the one-week camp to help make life better for people throughout Beaufort and Jasper Counties.
“This program’s mission is to revitalize communities and beautify the homes of the elderly, the disabled and those who are unable to afford needed repairs,” says Bethany Marcinkowski, United Way of the Lowcountry’s Vice President of Education Impact.
During the Catholic HEART Work Camp program, the students, along with more than 100 adult leaders and several local volunteers worked together on 45 projects throughout the community. The students did everything from yard work and minor home repairs to installing handicap ramps.  In addition to working on residential homes, some of the groups also worked on projects with agencies throughout the community.
“They did a lot of things I couldn’t do,” says  Mr. Singleton, who is wheelchair-bound.  In just a few days, the campers replaced boards and painted his wheelchair ramp, repaired his front porch and worked in the yard.“I appreciate it very much.”
“These young people make a big impact in just a few short days by doing simple home repairs including painting, yard work, cleaning, repairing screens, and anything else that is difficult for an elderly or handicapped person to accomplish. There is a big need for these types of services in our community and we’re excited to have this wonderful group of students in the Lowcountry each year, helping to meet the needs of our neighbors, says Marcinkowski.
Ms. Lucy couldn’t have been more excited to have a crew at her house. “It meant a whole lot to me,” says Ms. Lucy.  She says her home has been in bad shape for several years after a tree fell on it.  But living on a fixed income,  making the costly repairs was challenging.  Ms. Lucy says she is grateful for her church stepping in to help and last month students with the Catholic Heart Work Camp helped give her home a facelift with new paint and minor repairs.  “I call them my little angels,” says Ms. Lucy.  Hilton Head Glidden donates all the paint, as they have every year since the first group of HEART Work campers arrived in 1999, brightening spirits like Ms. Lucy’s through the Lowcountry. “The house is so bright now and it reminds me of how it looked when my children were young, says Ms. Lucy.
Students with the Catholic HEART Work Camp volunteer their time from Monday – Thursday and then have a free day on Friday to enjoy the amenities of the Lowcountry including beach visits, touring and other activities.  Throughout their time here, they stay at the Hardeeville School Complex.  After working throughout the day, they attend spiritual programs in the evenings.