Church youth volunteers repair homes in Africatown

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Volunteers scrape away and pull apart home damage as part of a week-long project to help repair several houses in Africatown. Before the heavy lifting begins, a spiritual uplift with a prayer.

“I really want to meet these people and get closer to God,” said an enthusiastic young volunteer from Jacksonville, Florida Clayton Payne. They’re part of “Mission Serve.” It’s a group that brings together church youth groups from places like Georgia, Illinois, Florida, and North Carolina. They’re making new friends and learning new skills in the process.

“To learn how to roof because I’ve never roofed before, I want to get closer to God and help the community out here,” said Jacksonville Volunteer Corey Githiiyu. These volunteers will be here for a week working at several different homes in the community

“We’ve been all over the place doing this and one of the things that I love about what we do is the impact we bring to people themselves, the homeowners who can’t afford roofs themselves, can’t afford to paint their house we bring that impact to them,” said Chris Gillespie with Deermeadows Baptist Church.

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson greeted volunteers as they started work Monday morning. The city helps coordinate with volunteer groups, steering them to homeowners who apply for help.

“This group was going to come this time last year and we had to cancel because of COVID,” said Stimpson. More than 200 volunteers are hard at work this week, one of the largest volunteer efforts this year.

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