NEWBERRY — Despite below freezing temperatures, youth from Wightman United Methodist and other churches spent their Thursday and Friday morning working on a house for the Women on a Mission group. This community effort was part of Wightman’s W.A.R.M. project.
W.A.RM. stands for Weatherization and Repair Ministry and the goal of the project was to help families and homeowners in the Newberry County area fix up their homes, as some might not have the monetary means or physical ability to do so on their own.
The house chosen best for the youth to work on, along with adult supervision, was that of the Women on a Mission group, located at 704 O’Neal St. in Newberry. The house is named the House of Sweet Transition. The house strives to create a safe, secure, and comfortable environment, facilitating women and children in a transitional home program.
Mckeva Kinard Shelton, founder of the Women on a Mission program, said the vision is to give others hope for change within themselves, vowing to help hurting people rediscover their potential and to use this change to achieve a higher standard of life.
“I knew I’d done something right when they called earlier in November,” Shelton said. “The Lord is good.”
Shelton said the youth were so eager to help. “I’ve never had this much help at one time,” she said.
Together, about 25 youth worked to construct bunk beds for several rooms, paint, install shelving, yard work, and other household chores.
Because Shelton works as a school resource officer and said seeing children she normally would see in schools to work on this home for her was a new experience.
“These are my kids. This helps them to see me in a different light; not just a police officer in their school,” Shelton said.
Lauren Cope, 12, has been helping out with the W.A.R.M. project since she began the youth group at Wightman. Cope said her favorite task is painting, which she really enjoys. “I enjoy helping the community,” Cope said.
Youth leader, Steven Douglas said he believes working on projects such as this as a group is good for the youth group to learn what true service is all about.
“Learning to do things on their own — physical things, while most people their age are indoors with video games, is good for them,” Douglas said.
Elyssa Parnell can be reached at 803-276-0625, ext. 108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.