By Sara Tischauser
Seymour is one of two cities this year that will be benefiting from the TeenServe program.
According to a press release from TeenServe, “TeenServe is a stateside mission’s trip where teens from across the U.S. volunteer to do home improvements for local elderly, handicapped, and lower-income residents. Only two communities get selected each year. Seymour has been selected for 2019! Home projects consist of basic weatherization, painting, construction of steps and wheelchair ramps, etc. All work is done at no cost to the homeowners.”
Kayla Doersch, TeenServe administrative secretary for the Seymour trip, said that the Seymour Assembly of God Church had been going to TeenServe in previous years and wanted TeenServe to come to their community this year.
Thomas Mueller, Seymour High School principal, said the school will be providing facilities for the TeenServe volunteers June 23-29 when TeenServe is in Seymour.
“The Seymour Community High School is providing ‘Home base,’” said Mueller. “TeenServe will use our facilities to house and feed the volunteers, and [serve as] a central location for their supplies, and a place for TeenServe to have their youth conference-style program in the school gym. After viewing pictures taken throughout the day and hearing stories of the day’s happenings, a rocking worship band will lead them and a national youth speaker will address the teens.”
Many teens are expected to be part of TeenServe but the program will also be looking for help from the community.
“There are expected to be around 300-500 teens that will come into the community,” Doersch said. “TeenServe brings a staff of around 20 people. The Seymour area needs to supply the rest of about 100 volunteers.”
There are many different things that the community can do to help with this project.
“We need volunteers,” Doersch said. “It takes a village to put these things together. We will need ladders lended, preferably ones that you don’t mind having paint on when you get them back. We need people to help serve meals, run supplies, and many other various tasks both before and [during] the week of TeenServe.”
TeenServe volunteers are looking forward to coming to the community and making a positive difference.
According to the TeenServe press release: “It is very exciting to witness hundreds of teens and adult leaders from across the country coming together with one purpose – to help those in need! A TeenServe workcamp will have a powerful impact on many lives: the residents whose homes will be repaired, the volunteers who help with the details, the businesses, individuals, family and friends who support the event financially, and the young people who come from across the United States to work on homes in our community. Not to mention the powerful financial impact on the community with more than $100,000 of donated materials and labor and more than $200,000 of free home repairs.”
TeenServe is looking for people in the area who could use assistance in having work done on their homes. The TeenServe press release said the program is hoping to have at least 40 homes to work on and if they have more volunteers they might be able to do even more houses. Right now, residents living in the Seymour School District can submit applications to have work done. If enough applications are not received TeenServe may extend the area beyond the Seymour School District.
Anyone interested in seeing if their home project qualifies for the TeenServe program should call (800) 596-3498. Deadline to apply is March 1.
Doersch said the community can really benefit from this service.
“This is an amazing event for our community to get a face lift and come together,” Doersch said. “It is amazing to watch the connection that the teens make with the residents and [see] what an impact it makes on everyone.”