ASP provides one of the most rewarding structured service opportunities in the nation — bringing thousands of volunteers from around the country to rural Central Appalachia to repair homes for low-income families.
For 48 years, we’ve made homes warmer, safer, and drier(R) for families and provided transformational service experiences for volunteers. Last year, 16,231 volunteers served with ASP, providing critical repairs for 493 families and constructing 26 new homes.
In 1969, Rev. Glenn “Tex” Evans — a United Methodist minister — became one of the first people to connect the energy of youth with the deep needs of the poor.
During Tex’s 13 years as director at Henderson Settlement in Frakes, Kentucky, he witnessed the great need for home repair assistance. So as part of his already-thriving outreach to the people of Appalachia, he recruited 50 teens and adult volunteers to repair homes in Barbourville, Kentucky. They worked on-site during the day and worshiped in the evenings. By summer’s end, four families had safe, warm homes for the winter, fifty young lives had been changed forever — and a forty-seven-year-long legacy was born.
But Tex was more than a leader; he was a born motivator. A true student of Appalachian culture and a legendary storyteller, he set the tone for what ASP is today: an extended family where laughter is king. Where relationships matter. And where changing the lives of families and volunteers alike is the highest priority of all.
Our philosophy of service has remained the same since our founding: ASP encourages people to act responsibly in the face of human need and injustice.
By transforming faith into ASP service, volunteers respond to a specific need: housing. By putting aside their own needs and desires, ASP volunteers free themselves to share talent, love, and concern with the people of Appalachia and with one another. More important than construction know-how is a willingness to enter the communities and homes of Central Appalachia with sensitivity, concern, and love — accepting people right where they are and just the way they are.
Since 1969, 393,643 volunteers from across the nation have repaired 17,866 homes and, in the process, Appalachian families, volunteers, and staff have been immeasurably blessed.
Today, with the help of more than 16,000 volunteers each year, our goal remains to make homes warmer, safer and drier for families in need. Yet ASP is more than a home repair program. It also provides a unique framework that fosters transformational experiences for volunteers, families served, and staff — by building relationships with each other that break down cultural, social and economic barriers. We often hear of significant life changes resulting from the ASP experience: of families renewing their faith in the goodness of others, of people newly motivated to continue their education, of young adults choosing careers of service. No one walks away from the ASP experience unchanged. The results are truly amazing!
Appalachia Service Project is a Christian ministry, open to all people, that inspires hope and service through volunteer home repair in Central Appalachia.
Appalachia Service Project’s vision is that substandard housing in Central Appalachia will be eradicated and that everyone who comes into contact with this ministry will be transformed.