With the arrival of Spring Break, thousands of academically overloaded college-aged young adults seeking out recreation through beach weeks, quality time with friends and family, sleeping in, and steady doses of Netflix. However, a strong foundation of college students sacrifice their week off for a week of service instead.
“A lot of kids aren’t interested in the typical Spring Break scene,” explained Austin Parker, a sophomore Communications major at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UM-A). “Or they don’t want to sit at home and watch Netflix the whole week if they can spend their time doing something like this over Spring Break.”
“We’re up to about forty-two or forty-three total trips,” said Rosemary Pate, when describing the dedication of her and husband, Bill, to Appalachia Service Project (ASP). “Generally, we lead at least four trips a year.” From Apex, N.C., this married couple, despite their retirement, goes to great lengths to ensure that ASP’s mission will be carried out, and that people in Central Appalachia will have homes that are warm, safe, and dry.
“We’ll have long weekend trips in October, January, and April or late March. “And we’ll have a weeklong trip in November,” Rosemary continues, “it’s harder for working people to take off the entire week, so to get people initially involved in ASP, we try to lead quite a few of the long weekend trips, even though we are both retired now. Sometimes Bill and I will come serve with the Helping Hands program to assist the staff out during particularly busy times.”
The roots of the now long-standing ASP tradition within the Pate household actually started with the younger generation.
“I thank God every day for ASP. I’m not worried anymore.”
Before ASP volunteers showed up at his door, Joe had every reason in the world to be worried – literally afraid for his life – while living in his own home!
Once a hard-working truck driver by trade, Joe eventually lost both of his legs to severe diabetes. With great courage, Joe got used to depending on his wheel chair to get around. Until one day, Joe – and his chair – fell through the kitchen floor!
And that’s when YOU showed up in this family’s life through your support of ASP. The home repairs we made last year have given Joe a new lease on life – no longer confined to his bedroom, Joe is once again a free man!
This holiday season I am personally reminded of the gratitude I was so frequently shown from the many families I served while working on ASP summer staff.
A few days ago I received a card from one of my favorite Carter County, TN families, Linda and Larry, whose home ASP repaired in 2013. When my staff and I first met Linda and Larry, whose mobile home was in extensive need of repairs, we were immediately overwhelmed by their kindness.
Appalachia Service Project (ASP) provides life-changing short-term Christian mission trip opportunities --
bringing youth, adult, and college volunteers into rural Central Appalachia to make homes warmer, safer, and drier for families in need.
So come on and join us! You'll raise roofs. Fix floors. And build a whole new you!
Appalachia Service Project • 4523 Bristol Highway • Johnson City, TN 37601 • (800) 289-4254 • Info@BuildANewYou.org