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Sulphur Springs Work Camp Completes House Projects

SS Work Camp

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The Sulphur Springs Work Camp finished its tenth year tonight, June 8, with a total of 185 houses completed. The camp began Sunday with volunteers from school districts and church youth groups around Hopkins County. “Our goal is to paint houses in the community for people who have need,” Work Camp Leader Julie Burgin said. “Youth groups gather together each summer for a few days to go out into the community and show love for people and paint houses.”

The work camp started in 2007 with current work camp speaker Brian Cromer, who was a youth pastor at Shannon Oaks Church when he started the camp. “It was something that was put on his heart to create a mission opportunity for kids in the area so that they didn’t have to go far away and do missions that they could do in their back yard,” Burgin said. “It was three churches at first, Shannon Oaks Church, Wesley United Methodist Church, and First United Methodist Church that got together that first year and painted nine houses.”

This year, a total of 13 churches are involved in the work camp from around Hopkins County. The total number of volunteers involved in the work camp this year exceeds 40 children and young adults from sixth grade to college freshmen returning home for the work camp. “We have kids from all over the place that line up to come and paint houses and sleep on a gym floor, and they pay us to do it,” Burgin said. “It’s incredible to see their hearts and how they want to serve those in their community. They all connect with their homeowners and make new friends.These are kids from different churches, different denominations, different school districts, but they all have a common goal to help people and tell them about Jesus.”

The work camp receives projects from a number of methods, such as nomination from other homeowners, being contacted on Social Media and actively searching for projects around town. The work camp stays in Sulphur Springs due to transportation and supply costs, restricting their reach outside the city limits. Homeowners do not pay any fee for the work, but instead, the camp receives funding from a number of sponsors in Hopkins County. “Funding comes from donations in the community ,and fundraisers that the work camp does to offset the costs,” Burgin said. “We have fabulous sponsors, both financial and resources that come from all over Sulphur Springs. The corporate and individual sponsorships make a huge difference.”

Some of the Work Camps most influential sponsors include Grocery Supply, Lowe’s, Clayton Homes, and the majority of banks in Sulphur Springs. “It’s not just money, it’s actual resources as well,” Burgin said. “Lowe’s gives us discounts and gives us a percentage off on the stuff that we purchase. Clayton Homes did the same thing again this year by ordering our paint for us at a discounted rate. We also get water from the electric companies and paper goods from some of the churches. We even have one particular family that every year for the last five years has a cow slaughtered and donates the meat and hamburger patties so that we have hamburgers for Wednesday. It’s donations large and small that help make it happen.”

Author: Staff Reporter

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