The Appalachia Service Project, also known as ASP, is a Christian volunteer organization founded in 1969, to repair homes of low-income families. They live in central Appalachia in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The primary goal is to make homes safer and more comfortable for their residents. It’s an 8-week summer program open to all volunteers.
The Princeton United Methodist Church has participated in this ministry since the mid-1970s. Every year we send a team of high school students and adult leaders the beginning of July to help needy families. Volunteers are not restricted to just our church members. We welcome all to participate.
While the trip takes place in summer, planning begins a year ahead, basically after the previous group returns. Meetings start in October the year before, so those interested can get informed and start raising funds for the trip.
Each participant must pay for the rental of vans that are the mode of transportation, lodging at a facility like a school, meals, and materials to repair the homes. Fundraising helps offset the costs, and is great for early team building.
Teens participate for a number of reasons. No matter the objective, their journey returns them as changed young adults. The experience is unparalleled, just based on their personal growth. And as a bonus, sophomores can use some of the time spent toward hours needed for community service (check with individual schools). Of course, adult leaders are also transformed.
The first meeting was last weekend, but it’s not too late to sign up. If you’re interested, please contact PUMC by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 609-924-2613 for more information. You can sign up with a friend or family member, and remember, you don’t need to be a member of our church, or any church to participate.
Go to our Flickr album for more ASP 2012 photos.