68 residents will receive free home repair and maintenance through Chillicothe Workcamp. Sponsored by Acts Believe Church, the mission will see more than 400 members of U.S. church youth groups volunteering their time locally.
"It's just amazing that all these people are going to come to Ross County and Chillicothe to help out," said Eric Gunnoe, of Acts Believe Church.
The mission is run through the non-profit organization Group Cares, and Gunnoe said planning for Chillicothe Workcamp began in 2015, when he met with outgoing CHS Principal Jeffrey Fisher to secure housing.
"That is the hardest thing: finding a school that will open their doors and let 400 people from all over United States stay at their facility," said Gunnoe, who added Group Cares will reimburse all costs to the lodging facility. "This service to the community would be impossible without the wonderful cooperation of the Chillicothe High School."
During the June 25-July 1 mission, workcampers will stay at CHS, sleeping on classroom floors, eating in the cafeteria, and taking part in evening services in the high school gymnasium when they are not on location to complete home repairs.
In January of 2017, Acts Believe Church began accepting applications for Workcamp services, and they narrowed it down to 68, said Gunnoe. Elderly, handicapped, and lower-income families will be served by a group of six during the work week.
"The very first day, they have five teens and one adult coming into their house, and it's awkward," said Gunnoe, "but by the end of the week, they're like family."
Gunnoe said his main hope for the camp is that the teens grow in their faith and that they "see that serving is an awesome thing to do."
(Photo submitted by Eric Gunnoe)