Spread the Love: Volunteers serve our community even though it is a 'world' away

Posted: Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chase Norris paid $250 to fix houses in Nikiski, Alaska, a little more than 5,000 miles from his home.

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Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
The house is one of five projects that volunteers from World Changers are working on in the area.

Norris came with a Christian philanthropy group called the World Changers. The group works with the Southern Baptist Convention to spread Christian loving through community service work. World Changer's spokesperson Caroline Duke said that the crews will fix four houses and a recreation park during their week in Alaska. Earlier this week the group continued to make improvements on a Bell Avenue house.

Norris said that he joined to help other people and for personal fulfillment. He said that his church's youth group built a handicap-accessible ramp for an elderly woman before the current project.

"The lady couldn't go anywhere or get anything," he said.

On Wednesday, he painted the house and helped put a back deck together. His group built a front porch earlier this week and plans to fix the roof. Norris likes construction works because it directly benefits people. He said that he helped his step-father, who owns a construction company, build a barn on their property.

Colby Robinson, of Gastonia, N.C., said that he has painted logs, shaved wood and done general construction work. Robinson said that he joined his Church's youth group in sixth grade. He wanted to come to Alaska because he's never been here before and enjoyed previous missionary work.

Lisa Johnson came up from Sonora, Calif., to learn to paint.

"Our youth group wanted to get out and spread the love of the lord," she said.

Alan Fowler, first aid supervisor, said that his children had gone on trips and his brother manages World Changer projects. This year he decided to give it a try.

"It's a good opportunity for outreach," he said. "It enables you to get a good experience."

Magan Muse stood behind the log house where she lives. Muse tossed planks of wood from her old deck onto a fire. She said that the local pastor brought World Changers in because her parents have developed back and neck problems and couldn't complete the work on their own. She said that the house was barely livable when her family moved in.

According to Muse, the house was filled with drug paraphernalia and had plumbing and electrical problems. The family discovered graffiti on the outside of the house when the paper peeled off last winter she said. They'd already painted over the vandalism on the inside.

She said that the World Changers have been a big help so far, as the group pushed up a portion of her new back deck.

Tony Cella can be reached at tony.cella@peninsulaclarion.com

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