by John Winter
Fountain Park UMC
During the week of June 26th to July 1st Christian youth from around the country gathered in Sheboygan County to fix-up homes. But their journey to do this job actually started over two years ago.
Plans were being made in 2019 by the host church, Fountain Park United Methodist Church in Sheboygan working in coordination with Group Workcamps. Unfortunately, those plans came to a halt due to the pandemic in 2020. But the members of Fountain Park UMC didn’t lose hope and immediately shifted plans to a future date.
Those plans became reality in 2022 when 201 teenagers and their adult leaders from eight states arrived in Sheboygan on June 26th.
Group Workcamps are a non-profit ministry, interdenominational Christian volunteer home repair organization headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Each summer over 12,000 high school youth and adults will participate in 35 work camps in communities across the United States.
In Sheboygan County the youth and adults were divided into 34 work crews and finished 35 job sites spread out in Sheboygan, Sheboygan Falls, Oostburg, Elkhart Lake, Adell, Howards Grove and Cleveland.
Repairs to these properties are done free of charge to improve the homes of the elderly, disabled and low-income residents.
Work included interior and exterior painting, weatherization, porch and wheelchair ramp construction, plus other work.
All work is supervised by volunteer contractors. Lisa Radder, Fountain Park UMC camp coordinator, says these youth are amazing. “Each one is actually paying for the privilege of working in our community. Workcamp fees are used to help cover costs for their work sites. These adults also ensure a safe place for the kids to stay.
Group Workcamps and Fountain Park UMC strongly believe in providing opportunities for teenagers to encounter Jesus Christ through serving others in the community.
Besides giving thanks to members of her fellow church family for their time and effort, Lisa Radder also recognizes the following organizations and businesses that donated time, materials and money: Johnsonville Sausage, Sargento Cheese, Old Wisconsin Sausage, Palo Popcorn, Al & Al’s Steinhaus, Thrivent, First Congregational Church, Love Inc., N.E. UMC Circuit 12, and Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation.
She added, “this was an awesome example of how individuals and organizations came together to help so many others in our community. We are all truly blessed by their generosity!”