In 2010, MCC Great Lake’s SWAP (Sharing with Appalachian People) program helped over 100 homeowners in Appalachia make their homes warm, safe and dry.
Using the eff orts of volunteers, SWAP addresses sub-standard housing in several counties of southeastern Kentucky and West Virginia. SWAP provides week-long serve and learn opportunities for youth, college, family and church groups. Last year, over 1,100 volunteers from 72 churches participated in the program.
Applications are currently being accepted for volunteer groups for the 2011 summer SWAP season. Groups of all ages are welcome - youth groups, intergenerational groups, family units and retirees. SWAP is also looking for folks to serve as summer staff - both the young and not so young - with a heart for service.
Deborah Fast, a volunteer from St. James Episcopal Church served with SWAP last year in Elkhorn, West Virginia. She wrote a reflection about the many ‘signs’ her group saw during their week-long service project.
“The best ‘signs’ we’ve seen? The smiles on the faces of ‘our’ homeowners, welcoming us and our skills (or lack of them), happy that we’ve come to give a hand,” wrote Fast. “We’ll take those smiles with us as we leave tomorrow, signs of new friendships we hope to renew again, if we make it back to West Virginia.”
For more information about SWAP, including application information: swap.mcc.org