Student, faculty and staff volunteers from University of the Cumberlands (UC) recently spent spring break serving the community of Letcher County, with Mountain Outreach, a service organization at UC.
“I believe we have made or are making a tremendous impact in this area,” said Marc Hensley, director of Mountain Outreach. “Folks all over this county know who we are and why we are here.”
This year marks the ninth year that Mountain Outreach has spent spring break serving in Letcher County. Throughout the week, beginning March 11, volunteers worked on six separate work sites around the community, building ramps and steps for senior adults and single parents.
A total of 34 people were involved in the week-long effort, including 21 UC students, eight faculty/staff members and five volunteers to help with food preparation for the group. The volunteers stayed at the Calvary Campus in Letcher County and worked with staff from local churches and organizations to find projects and collect materials.
“We have built relationships with the local lumber and building materials suppliers, as well as countless other businesses in the area, that are able to support our material needs while we are on the sites,” Hensley said. “Logistics for a trip such as this are tremendous. Without these relationships, our projects would not go as well and, most importantly, our impact to those in need would be diminished.”
As volunteers worked on various projects throughout the week, they also had an opportunity to meet and interact with the people whose lives they were impacting.
“It goes beyond the physical needs,” said Kathryn Green, a sophomore from Versailles, Kentucky, who went on the trip. “Many people just need someone to talk to. It’s important to cherish any opportunity to hear someone’s story and share that experience with them.”