Hands-on youth help Habitat

Published 1:47 am Sunday, April 13, 2008

Almost everyone has experienced a time in their lives where a little help is needed. Habitat for Humanity of Pearl River County is here to lend a helping hand to families who could really use it. They exist to help families help themselves — give that little extra push.

Making it possible for the group to achieve this goal are volunteers. One such group is the youth of Trinity United Methodist of Ronceverte, W.Va.

For three years, under Pastor Mike Estep, the group has traveled to our area to do some hands on Christian Service. “In West Virginia we experience periodic disasters, not of the Katrina magnitude, but we are sensitive to disaster,” said Pastor Estep. Katrina was one of the main reasons the group chose to come to our area in the first place.

Forming a relationship with Pastor Carl Heberg of Bryd’s Chapel United Methodist in Henleyfield, the group has experienced a welcoming committee and a place to lay their heads on their visits. “We have experienced a good relationship and a wonderful time at Byrd’s Chapel, so we keep coming back,” said Pastor Estep.

The first year, the group did general clean up work in Picayune. The second year, they worked with the Washington Parish Habitat in Bogalusa, La., and the third year, this year, they were working with Habitat in PRC. They brought 12 pairs of helping hands.

The group includes: Pastor Mike Estep, Paula McCoy, Mary Warner, Ramsey McCoy, Abby Estep, Jessie Ford, Charles Eary, Emily Clemons, Emma Stout, Mary Kellan Curry, Samantha Vanderberg and Kim Curry.

The group arrived Saturday, April 5. It is a 13 hour drive from their home town to Pearl River County. They usually stop one night at a church in Chattanooga, Tenn., on the trip down, but will drive straight home.

They do take a little time out for fun on their visits. Sunday, April 6, the group made a trip into New Orleans, La., and spent some time in the French Quarter. Their agenda also included a visit to the Gulf Coast to take in a little beach time. Their stay and mission ended Thursday, April 10.

Habitat is building several homes in Downtown Picayune off of Haugh Street. According to Hedy Cibula, Secretary of the Board for Habitat, and Chairperson of the Family Services Committee, they will be accepting applications for families again in June. Specific date and location information will be announced at a later date in the Picayune Item. Cibula assists in finding the families and helping them fulfill their requirements for obtaining a Habitat home.

To become a Habitat volunteer, call 601-799-4636 or visit www.habitat-prcms.org.