Salkehatchie Summer Service returns to Marlboro County
Last week, 120 youth and adult volunteers from all over the state came to Marlboro County to help make much-needed repairs to various homes.
The volunteers were part of the Salkehatchie Summer Service, which is a program of the United Methodist Church.
The program has week-long camps during the summer all over the state.
Travis Pearson, director of Salkehatchie-Camp Pee Dee, said the main emphasis of the work was to help people stay dry and warm by repairing roofs and doing other work.
"Our goal is certainly to better people's homes but also to engage and build relationships with the homeowners through the love of Christ," he said. "Sure, we are fixing the plumbing but ultimately we are here trying to spread the kingdom of God."
Each day, they woke up at 5 a.m., ate breakfast and were on-site by 6-6:30 a.m. They worked all day, taking a break for lunch, before eating dinner and heading back to camp.
The volunteers stayed at Camp Pee Dee in Wallace.
To participate in Salkehatchie, a person must be 14 years or older.
Pearson started as a participant when he was 14 and has participated for 16 years.
Salkehatchie as an organization is celebrating 40 years in 2018. Pearson has been the director of this camp for five years.
David McFadden, site leader for site one on North Everette Street in Bennettsville, said they were refurbishing the home.
Volunteers worked all week to put in new floors, walls, new ceilings, wiring, and vinyl siding outside.
The house was damaged by a hurricane several years ago when trees fell on it.
"He has been living all over," McFadden said. "We are trying to refurbish it so he can move back in."
It was McFadden's 19th year working with Salkehatchie.
"It is God's grace for each one of us that we are so blessed," he said."We need to help those not as fortunate as we are."
McFadden added he hoped the Salkehatchie program would continue for many more years.
"I hope we are able to get many more youth to participate," he said.