The Appalachia Service Project brings volunteers to rural Appalachia to help fix roofs and other items for poor families.
Appalachia is home to many poor families. Many of these families receive little outside help. There are not many jobs available in the area.
A lot of people criticize foreign aid and say we should help our own people first. This is your chance, to help fellow Americans.
A trip to Appalachia as part of the Appalachia Service Project will consist of a lot of manual labor as you help to fix, repair, and add on to a poor family's home. You also will get instant immersion into the Appalachia lifestyle as you learn about these Appalachian families, their history, and why the region is so poor.
You can volunteer to help Appalachian families by coming as an individual or part of a group such as your church. There are programs available for Adults, college students, as well as teens under 18.
Appalachia has a lot of areas that are dirt poor, filled with single mothers, and no jobs. In many of the poorest counties any available jobs are scarfed up as fast as they are listed, if they are listed at all.
Costs vary, but for an adult who will spend a week in Appalachia volunteering, it will run you $300. This includes all of your meals and lodging.
Yes you do pay to work, but for some people this is a great experience. Not only do you get to help a poor family out, but you also get a chance to bond with the local Appalachians and learn the historical aspects of their region.
Appalachia is famous for the illegal moonshine they manufacture. While moonshine is not as common as it use to be, the ATF constantly has investigations going on to find and destroy stills used to make the illegal whiskey. Many of the people who produce illegal moonshine in Appalachia are in the business because it is the only way they have of making money. Other moonshiners produce the illegal whiskey because they have always done it. Maybe their grandfather and father were always involved with moonshine, so the guy continues in the "family business" as it is the only thing he knows.
If you are looking to help out fellow Americans, consider spending a week in Appalachia. When you help fix say a leaky roof, you also help benefit their children.
It does not matter whether you are a construction guru or a layman, by volunteering with the Appalachian Service Project, you can make a difference, not only in their life but also in your life. The personal enrichment you receive could benefit you for the rest of your life.
Appalachia is a beautiful mountainous region. If volunteering with the Appalachian Service Project interests you then visit their website to download an application.
If you spend a week in the Appalachian region you will find the beauty of the area, combined with the friendliness of the local people you encounter, to be wonderful. Image Credit: (Flickr/Dok1)