When youth in YAP’s Franklin County NY Program joined community volunteers to help rebuild a house, they changed two lives in the process. The homeowner, an elderly woman, cares for her adult grandson who struggles with a disability. Their dilapidated house was nearly condemned and she did not have the means to fix it. After networking within the community, Program Director Jordan Clark, YAP Advocates and their clients volunteered to help.
During the project, which took place mostly from December 2014 through February 2015, the youth learned construction skills and much more. With the assistance of a certified electrician and other knowledgeable leaders, they learned how to make a home energy efficient and up to code. They also learned to be resourceful, utilizing community resources for supplies and they helped with post-construction clean-up.
Most importantly the young people learned how it feels to make a difference in other people’s lives. “The homeowner expressed her gratitude on a daily basis,” Jordan recalled. “She even cooked them dinner every Sunday!”
Today, the homeowner and her grandson have peace of mind, knowing that their house is safe and secure. A BBQ at the house is planned for the end of this summer to celebrate all of the hard work the community did.
“By our youth partnering with the community and volunteering, they got a chance not only to learn about construction but also to learn how rewarding it is to give back to the community,” Jordan said.