When the weather warms up on the Kenai, things start to get hectic. There's fishing, soccer, gardening, hiking, camping, baseball, outdoor markets, garage sales the list goes on.
There's another category that explodes, as well: construction.
With a short season in which to build, hammers and nails are flying, and homes and buildings are popping up all over the peninsula. There's not much time to get everything done, but eight families in Sterling knew help was on the way in the form of 100 World Changers volunteers.
The single-family houses, which owners hope to be in by Christmas, are part of a federal low-income housing program. Plus, an additional 10 USDA Rural Development homes are planned for Kenai next year.
The requirements are similar to Habitat for Humanity in that the eight families selected to own the homes are required to put in about 65 percent of the labor in building the houses. Another requirement states no owners may move into their homes until all eight houses are complete and ready for occupancy. This assures that everyone is working together for one goal.
The World Changers volunteers wasted no time and put a roof on one of the houses, built the walls of another, put in a floor on one and finished the siding on a fourth.
We think it's great that the volunteers are here to make a difference. Many organizations around the country and world send youth and young adults to our neck of the woods in the summer to work on projects and use the experience to teach lessons that last a lifetime. That's the goal of the World Changers, to provide Christian youth and adults with opportunities to meet the physical and spiritual needs of others through practical learning experiences.
What's even more impressive is that many of these people come here of their own accord, paying their way to make that difference.
But there's plenty taking place here in our communities, as well.
In the case of the World Changers, the Lighthouse Community Church in Nikiski stepped forward to offer their church to house the volunteers. You can be assured they also are fed, entertained and shown the sights by people in our communities.
Through all of this, connections are made that make Alaska a lasting memory, one that will bring many return visits.
So while it's worth noting how much these people who travel to our corner of the world have to offer us, it's even more important to note that we have plenty to offer in return.
This process is nothing new, it's been going on for many years with a great deal of success. It's just nice to know that despite all the troubles, pain, suffering and sorrow occurring in the world, there will always be those who will step up to the plate to make a difference even if it's just one house at a time.
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