Local youth volunteers repair houses in Florida

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 15, 2010

NATCHEZ — Youths from Highland Baptist Church recently traveled to Daytona Beach, Fla., to change the world one roof repair at a time.

As part of the North American Missionary Board program called World Changers, 14 local youth ranging from middle school to college-aged put their summer vacation on hold for a week to travel to Daytona Beach and fix up strangers’ houses.

Britton McCall, 20, the son of Bruce and Stephanie McCall, said World Changers contacts the city officials of the destination city where the project is set, and the officials select houses based on need.

Hannah Southerland, 21, the daughter of Paul and Marlene Southerland, said she was transferred to a roofing crew from a paint crew because she already knew how to fix a roof. Her roofing experience came from last year’s World Changer project, she said.

“I can definitely pull some nails out of some shingles,” Southerland said.

Southerland said her father has joked she will take over construction on their roof if it is ever in need of repairs.

Southerland said the biggest reward from the project was when neighbors rode by the house she helped repair. The neighbors said the owner of the house was very deserving of the volunteers’ help and they appreciated it.

Southerland, a senior majoring in communications at Mississippi College, said she plans to stay involved in World Changers and would possibly like to work for the organization as a worship leader or communications specialist.

Vidalia resident Sarah Kammerdeiner, 15, also repaired a roof on another woman’s house in Daytona.

Kammerdeiner, the daughter of John and Sheri Kammerdeiner, has participated in World Changers since age 12.

Kammerdeiner said she and her crew chipped off old paint from a house and painted it tan with emerald green trim per the owner’s request. She also got promoted to roofing.

“It was a blast. I had never roofed before. Every year I had been on the painting crew,” Kammerdeiner said.

Kammerdeiner said meeting new people from all over the country, make the mission trip fun, but she mostly participates for the reward of doing good deeds for those less fortunate than her.

“Every year I go I get a big blessing out of it,” Kammerdeiner said.

McCall said the support of his family, church members and God keep him focused on leading a Christian life.

“To non-Christians it might sound strange, but God puts it in your heart to do what’s right and you do what your heart tells you and try not to fall away from that,” McCall said.

Southerland said the overall experience was great, but she realizes she should take the rewards it gave her and apply it to her every day life.

“You don’t have to go to Africa to do mission work or Daytona Beach, Fla. We can do (good deeds) right here in Natchez … Anybody can be a world changer,” Southerland said.