Veteran Rehab Project
Group requested city work together to better Millville
Former Millville native Bill Nayda contacted me earlier this year and asked if Millville would welcome his group of volunteers from the Gayton Baptist Church in Virginia to rehab the homes of qualified military veterans. I welcomed the opportunity. With the hard work of Samantha Fisher from my Department of Public Affairs, the necessary arrangements were made. In July, 50 young people and 25 adults from the Gayton Baptist Church arrived in our city and, along with help of volunteers from Millville, worked on 17 properties throughout our town.
The volunteers put in more than 2,700 hours of work worth approximately $75,000 and supplied $50,000 in building materials. They replaced roofs, painted houses, rebuilt decks and replaced windows, ceilings and fences. I had the personal privilege to work with them and visit several of the jobs they were doing. I spoke with the homeowners who were amazed at the quality of the work and thankful for what was done.
Many people and organizations in the city of Millville were involved with this volunteer project. The school board allowed the volunteers to stay at Holly Heights School. Wheaton Village held a glass demonstration for the group. The Millville Elks and some of the area churches provided meals. Area merchants and farmer markets supplied food, equipment and building supplies. A Millville electrician donated his labor. Many Millville residents helped with the rehabilitation and served or donated food. Different city departments also helped: The police increased their patrols, the fire department supplied cooling stations and meals were served at the American Legion. Commissioner Joe Sooy’s department helped in the disposal of the construction debris and hosted a movie night to conclude the week.
Beside the fact that this project brought the entire town together, one of the truly amazing things to me was this generous group had volunteered their time, their money and their talents but kept thanking me for allowing them to come to our city. We can never repay them for all they did, nor do they expect to be repaid.
Their only request was that Millville keep what they started going, namely the entire city working together to better Millville. I trust that others in the city are as inspired by this wonderful project as I am and will join me in keeping this positive change in motion.
Lynne Porreca Compari
VIRGINIA YOUTH GROUP HELPING VETERANS IN MILLVILLE, NJ IN JULY
Teenagers and adults helping make homes safer, dryer and warmer
This summer, the youth of Gayton Baptist Church will bring 75 high school students and 25 adults to help residents in need of assistance in Millville, NJ. It has become an annual tradition for our students to engage in making a difference in the world right now and to give back to those in need. This year, we are happy to be helping our nation’s Veterans who have given so much for our country over the years.
The projects will be centered in the City of Millville, New Jersey in Cumberland County, the county with the lowest per capita income in the state. Gayton Youth Ministry is partnering with local organizations to identify veterans and homeowners in need of assistance. They will be working on several projects: re-roofing houses, replacing siding and windows, painting homes, doing yard work, and building decks and handicapped ramps to make homes safer and easier to access. In addition to fixing homes, the youth will also be performing community outreach.
These projects will take place the week of July 20th to the 26th with an advance team arriving on July 18th to make preparations. The youth of the church do all the work, under the supervision of skilled adults. This is a great opportunity for high school students to give back to the community, to develop vocational skills, and to build leadership skills. While the time spent in Millville will be brief, the memories will last a lifetime.
The mission team has been working with city and county officials to locate Veterans in need. We are appreciative of the help from Millville City Commissioner Lynne Porreca Compari, Director of Public Affairs, Samantha Fisher of the Department of Public Affairs, and Diana Pitman Director Cumberland County Veteran Affairs and Tony Surace Freeholder Liaison to Veterans Affairs. Veterans who wish to be considered by Gayton Youth Ministry to have their homes repaired are encouraged to contact either Diana Pitman at (856) 453-2239 or Samantha Fisher at (856) 825-7000 extension 7288 to request a project request form. The request forms must be returned by March 28th, 2014.
The youth will be staying at Holly Heights Elementary School during the week. The team is grateful for help from Millville Board of Education, Superintendent Dr. David Gentile, Principal Stephen Saul, and from Facilities Management Bryce Kell, Ryan Cruzan and Eileen Sorantino.
Gayton Baptist Church is located in the West End of Richmond, VA. Gayton youth have traveled throughout the United States and Canada over the past 20 years, rebuilding communities and leading camps. If you would like to learn more, a video recap from one of our previous trips can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiaigCyLhcQ
If you would like more information or to learn how you can be a partner to contribute supplies, please contact Caleb Foust Associate Pastor of Youth at 804-360-2801 or caleb@Gaytonchurch.org.
13501 N. Gayton Road | Henrico, VA 23233 | 804.360.2801 www.GaytonChurch.org