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Teens perform home spruce-ups in Louisa

Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at 4:01 pm

Members of a volunteer work crew from Arlington work on fixing up various homes in the Mineral area.

Several houses in Louisa County received much needed upgrades as part of a youth work camp program recently.

Every year for the last 29 years, the Catholic Diocese of Arlington has made a number of home repairs for those who cannot afford them. This year’s WorkCamp 2018 was based out of Massaponax High School in Fredericksburg. More than 800 teenagers from Arlington complete 135 projects on 120 homes in the Commonwealth, including in Louisa County, from June 23-29.

“It’s hard when you need work done and don’t have any money to do it,” Felicia Jackson, a Mineral-area homeowner who was assisted by a work crew this year, said. “When you have a religious group that’s willing to come out and do it for free, you couldn’t ask for a better blessing.”

Jackson, is a certified nursing assistant and cares for several people with various health needs. This is the second time that she has received help from the work camp program. In 2016, a work crew installed a ramp for a wheelchair-bound resident and put a new front door on her house.

The teens made improvements to the ramp this year, applying stain and replacing a few of the boards. They also replaced the stairs leading to her back door and installed new windows.

“Just about any little thing they saw, they did,” she said. “They did a beautiful job. I have no complaints.”

Another local resident that the work camp visited was Stacy Sayer, who also lives in the Mineral area. She is a full-time caregiver for a 24-year-old man who suffered a traumatic brain injury after being hit by a car when he was 11 years old.

“[Richard Morgan] needs help pretty much with everything,” she said. “He needs round-the-clock care…As a result there’s not enough money a lot of the time to get stuff done.”

Initially, the volunteers were going to work on her porch, which wraps around the house, but the scope of the project was considered too big. Instead, they replaced the flooring inside the house.

“The carpet was going on 30 years old,” Sayer said. “We said we wanted something that was waterproof and easier to keep clean.”

The crew obliged. Over the course of the week, the young volunteers worked to take out the carpet in the Sayer’s dining room, living room and family room, and replaced it with hardwood laminate flooring.

“It’s such an improvement,” Sayer said.

Like Jackson, Sayer had only positive things to say about the crew that worked on her house.

“The kids were great. They were polite and well mannered. I think they did a very professional job,” she said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better work crew. I can’t say enough good about them.”

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