The faith-based volunteer organization World Changers sent 130 high school students to various non-profits in Philadelphia this June, with 30 serving at The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia’s Temple Corps Community Center.
The World Changers youth began their work on Monday, June 25 and spent three days working on site at The Salvation Army. They painted the entire outside of the Temple Corps on North Broad Street, as well as its food pantry.
Armed with ladders, scaffolding and a cherry-picker, the students worked quickly and diligently. They worked in shifts and adult leaders were careful to encourage hydration and nutrition in the summer sun.
The volunteers gained valuable skills beyond painting, such as teamwork, leadership and generosity. Between sacrificing a week of their summer vacations, paying their own way for the trip, performing manual labor and sleeping on the floor of a local church, participants learned to embrace a selfless lifestyle.
These students traveled from across the country, some of them driving almost 10 hours, to show the love of Jesus through their words and disciplined work.
Annika Barr, one of the volunteers, shared why she appreciated the opportunity to serve: “It feeds the soul. It helps me through lots of problems just as much as it helps [others]. It’s just humbling to see that I’m lucky enough to come out of a good home, and not everybody is lucky enough to have a good life.”
World Changers also offers opportunities for student leadership on the trip, providing positions such as “encourager.” One returning volunteer said that her experience in this position last year was particularly impactful and allowed her to lead her peers in respectful behavior, inspire diligent work and head up missions throughout the week.
The Salvation Army is grateful for the cheerful service provided by these students. We rely heavily on volunteers to support our endeavors to Do The Most Good, and our partnership with World Changers helps us to further these efforts.