Three hundred and sixty students and chaperones from the East Coast are working in the rain in Chattanooga to build a better future for local homeowners in need.
The World Changers organization is partnering with 14 church groups split into 29 crews of 12 each working on 22 homes.
Atop a home in Brainerd at 3832 Lerch St., two crews renovated the outside of the home by replacing shingles on the roof, and worked on the ground to repair a porch that was caving in as well as replace the ceiling of the porch.
"Each crew has a crew chief knowledgeable about construction," said World Changers missions and communications specialist Carly Atkins, a resident of Kentucky. "They teach them how to complete roof work. We help low-income families. World Changers provides free labor and the homeowner's city provides materials."
She said Brainerd Baptist Church has been serving breakfast and dinner to crews in the Brainerd area.
Plano, Ill., resident Hannah Campbell is on her third World Changers mission, but her first project in Chattanooga. She assisted the roofing crew at the Brainerd home by ripping off old shingles, replacing plywood and hammering in new shingles. She said the front end of the porch was bashed in by a tree, so the crews are replacing the porch boards.
"Being able to come here and help other people in need is awesome," said Campbell, age 20. "Individuals in the home really need it. We hope the Lord can use us to be a blessing to homeowners."
Chattanooga native Sean Maxwell, who now serves as a student pastor at Pleasant Garden Baptist Church in Greensboro, N.C., said he is happy to be back in his hometown repairing homes for those in need. Maxwell is a Red Bank High School alumnus.
"This is my seventh World Changers trip," said Maxwell, who has also worked in Chicago, Savannah, Ga., Norfolk, Va., and Kentucky on teams. "Our crew is creating a new roof for the homeowner. We are working with 36 people."
The crew worked from July 9-13, rain or shine, to get the job completed in time. More crews are fanning out July 16-20 in the Chattanooga area to repair many more homes of those in need of assistance.