Forty-four young people and fourteen adults from New Jersey wearing work clothes and tool belts recently converged on Cambridge and Easton for a week of service. Hosted by Habitat for Humanity of Talbot and Dorchester Counties and the Historical Society of Talbot County, the group was on their senior high summer mission trip from the Lords of Life Lutheran Church in Tabernacle, New Jersey.
The church’s annual mission trips are an opportunity to live out the teachings of the Bible. Trip participants had all trained and studied in preparation for their adventure. Students who are accepted into the program must attend four advance skill-building trainings in the spring, one of which is a session on how to use hand and power tools. In addition, the students hold bake sales and car washes to raise money for their accommodations, travel and special outings.
In just five days, the students and adults made a big impact at their service sites. At the Historical Society of Talbot County, work teams took on landscaping, painting, and brick laying tasks. On Habitat’s Clay Street work site, the group tackled numerous projects such as hanging doors and siding, framing windows, and painting. On Edgewood Avenue in Cambridge, Habitat’s newest building project, the group worked to clear the site in preparation for the foundation.
The group was well fed throughout the week with lunches provided to the group through Habitat’s network of churches and community volunteers. The Historical Society treated its work crew to a breakfast the final morning. “Members of our board were happy to provide them a thank you breakfast. The volunteers made a positive impact on our campus and enabled us to accomplish a lot in a short time,” said Eleanor Shriver Magee, executive director of the Historical Society.
The group also enjoyed some of the pleasures of the Eastern Shore during their week in Maryland. “Two events that will stay with us from the week both have to do with the water,” said Donna Yates, Lords of Life Lutheran Church director of children/family ministry. “The first was the evening picnic with folks from Grace Lutheran Church on Ron and Annabel Lesher’s front lawn and porch. Then there was our wonderful meal, the glorious sunset, and our devotions shared on the paddleboat on the Choptank River.”
“What a great group,” said Habitat volunteer crew chief Paul Ray on the group’s final afternoon. “When we asked several of the kids to caulk in one of the bathrooms, they got right to work, no instruction needed. The group got so much done and they were a lot of fun.” As Ray spoke, team members were slowing congregating around the picnic tables in front of the Habitat homes in which they had been working. The youth came out of the units one or two at a time to clean their paint brushes, put tools away and tidy up the job site. “They’ll be out here eventually,” observed Ray. “They’re just determined to finish their jobs before they leave.”
About Habitat for Humanity of Talbot and Dorchester Counties
Habitat for Humanity of Talbot and Dorchester Counties is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to eliminating substandard housing in the two county region. Since its founding in 1992, the organization has worked in partnership with volunteers, churches, community organizations, businesses, and its future homeowners to help more than 45 local working families achieve homeownership. To learn more about Habitat, to volunteer or to make a donation, visit www.hfhtdc.org or call 410-820-6186.
About the Historical Society of Talbot County
The Historical Society of Talbot County is mission-driven to collect, preserve and interpret materials that document and illustrate the history of Talbot County, Maryland. Furthermore, the Society promotes public interest, understanding and enjoyment of the County’s rich heritage within Maryland’s Eastern Shore and the Nation. To learn more about the Historical Society’s programs, events, house tours, collection/archives, exhibits, auditorium and/or garden rental or Tharpe Antiques, visitwww.hstc.org or call 410-822-0773.