Starting Thursday, more than 200 teens and volunteers are gathering to do home repairs for the needy and elderly. It's a part of 15th annual River of Life mission project. More than six churches from Georgia and Florida came together to help people in Macon.
For some teens, it's their first time volunteering. “This was a great choice and a great decision,” said Eni Ige, from Cannon United Methodist Church.
And some teens come out year after year. “It's my sixth time,” said Frances Sperry.
Hundreds of teen are spending an entire weekend in Macon, hoping to leave someone's life better today than yesterday. “I just love helping people and this gives me an opportunity to do that,” said Sperry.
It's an opportunity that Kim and Johnny Chatman say they desperately needed for their home of more than 20 years. “That part of the roof there is nothing but paper now,” said Johnny Chatman.
But because of Kim Chatman’s heart problems and their family's income, the couple says they can barely afford their medication, let alone repairing their home. “I'm on SSDI. We can get by but we scrape by,” said Chatman. “It's like prescriptions, fix the house, or eat. Pick one of the three.”
With a fresh coat of paint and a new overhang on the roof, these teens say they wanted to show the Chatmans that they care. “If they need help then I'm happy to help them,” said Lukee Ricks. “It's not just the paint. It's about how you make someone feel after you create something and make something great,” said Sperry, and how even the smallest acts of kindness can make a big difference.
Rebuilding Macon helped select the homes that will be repaired. Teens will finish all their home repairs by Sunday.