Teens are volunteering their time this summer to work for Habitat for Humanity, the faith-based nonprofit agency that builds homes for people in poverty. Their goal is to work in partnership with families in need and to eliminate poverty housing in the community.
The volunteer program usually is for those age 16 and up, but Habitat recently created youth builds. These builds involve 10- to 18-year-old students helping to build homes for families.
"I have fun building a home for people who need it," said Tyler Martin, 13, who worked during the first session of the summer on July 15.
Even though it may be hard work at times, the volunteers find it very rewarding.
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"The work is very tiring, but you get to experience new things and it teaches you how to help others," said Jessi Bland, an eighth-grader from Prescott Senior Elementary School.
At their last build, the teens worked together to install an air conditioner and plasterboard. At some of the other builds, the teens built fences, did the landscaping, installed insulation and painted the interior and exterior of the house.
"I believe in helping others, and Habitat allows youth to do that while having fun and learning how to build a home," said Nora Cassidy, the youth coordinator for Habitat for Humanity.
"It's a place where you can come and go. So if you can't make it to one of the youth builds, it's OK."
"I believe it's important to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity because you learn how to help and have respect for others," said Faith Molthen, 13.
Christian Coconi, a ninth-grader from Central Valley High School, agreed, saying "Yes, it helps you build skills for the future."
Said Cassidy, "I get the greatest happiness helping others. Habitat for Humanity is a wonderful nonprofit agency that makes a large impact on people's lives."
Jennifer Jolliff is a junior at Hughson High School and a member of The Bee's Teens in the Newsroom program.