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09-24-2013


Whitley County Cheerleaders join Mountain Outreach on rainy day project

 


On Saturday, September 21, 16 cheerleaders from Whitley County High School braved rain and mud to join University of the Cumberlands’ (UC) Mountain Outreach (MO) team to build a new porch and steps for a local woman. From Left: WCHS freshman Chelsey Hamilton, sophomore Tia King, freshman Katie Hudson, junior Hailey Pool, freshman Kelsey Siler, freshman Hannah Ellis, sophomore Carla McKiddy, freshman Allison Minton, sophomore Lori Partin, freshmen Alyssa Lanham, Kelly Earls and Betty Riley, juniors Maylan Hunter, Shayla Hensley, Candace Minton and Hannah Jo Rutherford.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky.— The day before autumn brought with it a chilly, rainy morning, causing ball games to be cancelled and keeping many indoors. On a muddy hillside in Whitley County, however, a handful of high school students and volunteers braved the wet and the sludge to build a new porch where a rickety one first stood.

On Saturday, September 21, 16 cheerleaders from Whitley County High School (WCHS) joined University of the Cumberlands’ (UC) Mountain Outreach (MO) team to build a new porch and steps for a local woman.

 


WCHS Cheer Coach and UC alum Amy Roberts, right, shows one of her cheerleaders how to use a power drill. On Saturday, September 21, 16 cheerleaders from Whitley County High School braved the weather to join University of the Cumberlands’ Mountain Outreach team to build a porch and steps for a local woman.

The previous porch was dilapidated, and one of the woman’s grandchildren, several of whom she raises, had fallen off of it twice. The cheerleaders and MO volunteers—UC students—began the project at 8 a.m., and worked the entire time in the rain, finishing the porch and steps in the early afternoon. Although the cheerleaders were not experienced builders, the extra hands made the job easier, and more importantly, more rewarding for everyone.

This project was the first that MO has partnered with high school students on, and the WCHS cheerleaders did a great job, according to the MO volunteers. Their coach Amy Roberts is an alumna of UC and volunteered with MO while attending the university. She felt an MO project would be a great team-building opportunity, and as the girls got wet and muddy helping build the porch—and breaking occasionally for mini-mud fights—their cheerful attitudes seemed to indicate that it was. Despite having fun with the day, the girls were serious about the project, asking multiple questions to understand the process of building the deck.

The work included digging holes for posts, pouring dry concrete, securing joint hangers, measuring and laying boards and hammering in nails.

“There’s always a learning curve, because most of these kids haven’t used tools,” said Marc Hensley, MO director. This did not stop any of them from trying.

Hensley explained that it is not about the project or tools, rather about the 16 girls who helped. When they see the finished porch that they helped to build, he said, they will realize that it’s about the people they are serving. It’s about the people who provide the help, the neighbors who watch them, and the people who are impacted by their help.

“My hope is that there will be one or two or even 10 of these kids at UC in the future who become involved in Mountain Outreach,” said Hensley.

For some of the cheerleaders, it was the first ministry project that they had been involved in. The girls, who were new to building, said that they were “happy to dig a hole” or “draw a line and hammer in nails.” They all expressed that they wanted to continue doing projects with MO.

“You never know what people are going through,” said Carla McKiddy, a WCHS sophomore. “A kind deed could lift them up and help them.”

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; 10 pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information visit www.ucumberlands.edu.

Story provided by Lydia Huggins, Multimedia & Athletic Services Student Assistant