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Salkehatchie Summer Service repairs seven homes in Marlboro County

  • 11 July 2019
  • Author: Dan McNiel
  • Number of views: 1833
Salkehatchie Summer Service repairs seven homes in Marlboro County

More than 100 volunteers descended on Marlboro County last week to replace roofs, floors and other repairs to seven homes. 
They are all part of the Salkehatchie Summer Service program, which is a ministry of the United Methodist Church.
Elizabeth Miles of Dallas, Ga., was at site five on Quick Acres Road with her daughter Abby. 
At the house, the group repaired the roof, built two decks and completed several flooring projects. 
Miles said she had enjoyed getting to know the homeowners and building a relationship with them.
"We just want them to know that Jesus loves them and we are here to help them," Miles said. "The homeowners do more for me than I do for them."
During the week at each site, youth constructed a cross. On Friday, a cross was left at each home with the workers' names and year on it.
Travis Pearson, director of the Salkehatchie Camp Pee Dee, felt the week went well.
"By the end of the week, we are exhausted," he said. "There is always this strange paradox of giving yourself all week to work and to share in the good news."
Due to last year's hurricane, Salkehatchie was able to partner with others to do more homes.
United Methodist Committee on Relief funded three of the seven homes because they were severely damaged by the storms. 
They also partnered with Home Works. And Home Works helped us with some funding and materials on all of the sites. 
Normally, funding comes from the registration fees.
Robert Heaton of Sandy Run had participated in Salkehatchie since he was 14. Now 25, he looks forward to returning each year.
"I get joy from being able to help those less fortunate and give them better living conditions," he said. "Every year, it is nice to see old friends and fellowship with them."
 This year, Heaton visited several former sites that he worked with one of his friends.
At one site, they saw the wooden cross with faded names.
"Even though our names may be erased and memories may fade, God still remains," Heaton said. "I don't see myself not being able to come to Salkehatchie. I hope to always be able to come."
For him, it is amazing to look back from where he came to where he is now in a  leadership position and trying to teach the younger youth. 
"We are important as adults to keep coming back to Salkehatchie so we have another generation to move up and take our place," he said.
Arlene Andrews, assistant site director, had come to Salkehatchie here for 24 years from Blythewood and looks forward to coming each year. 
"I have developed a real heart for Marlboro County and the people here," she said.
A big rule of the program is making sure those in the homes are safe, warm and dry. 
"Once a roof starts going, the wetness comes down the wall, rots the floor and people are in danger of falling," she said. "It is a ministry of hope."
Nancy Tuttle came from Surfside Beach to work at site three on McLeod Street, where they were doing roof and flooring repairs and putting siding on the home. 
Ten years ago, Tuttle had no experience but wanted to help. She started coming with kids from her church's youth group. 
"Salkehatchie is still a feeling that I can't explain," she said.
Nina Vidal of Aiken volunteered with her parents.
She was inspired to come after hearing them talk so much about Salkehatchie.
"It made me want to help other people," she said.
She added she enjoyed getting to know the homeowner and hoped to come back to visit her as much as she could.
"It is more than just putting a roof on a home," Vidal said. "It is about making connections."

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