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Mountain Outreach Completes Semester Project


Student volunteers pose for a picture after the project is completed.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. - After a long week of studying, Saturday mornings tend to start late for most college students. Trading in a Saturday of relaxation for challenging volunteer work is not a common occurrence, especially if the hard work starts at 8 a.m., but that's just what a group of 31 University of the Cumberlands students did recently.

Marc Hensley, director of Mountain Outreach, was pleased by the favorable turn out. "The reason for the large turnout was the enthusiasm and dedication of my student staff. They seized the opportunity to recruit and educate other students about the program and what we do," he said.


Amanda Foutch, pictured left, and Megan Corden, pictured right, nail the shingles to the roof.

When the annual activities fair was held on campus earlier in the semester, Mountain Outreach was there recruiting volunteers from the student body. The organization peaked interest in construction activity by holding a nail-driving contest and educating the participants in the purpose of Mountain Outreach. In the end, the 31 students were ready to volunteer for the fall semester’s project.

Restoring a haven

This semester's project took the group to a home in Hanging Rock. The homeowner, who was recently diagnosed with and undergoing radiation treatment for cancer, spent much of his rest and relaxation time on his porch. But his haven had not been so relaxing due to a leaky roof. When Mountain Outreach became aware of his situation, they set out to repair the porch roof for him.

The participants tackled the project quickly and efficiently. By the time lunch rolled around, the shingles were removed, the rafters reworked, the sheeting removed and replaced and the new plywood was tar papered.

After the group's lunch break, prepared by the campus cafeteria staff, the roof was shingled, a new drip edge was added and the fascia replaced. With the project complete, the participants packed up the work site; and after many hugs from the homeowner, they set off satisfied with the day’s work.

"All of the kids displayed a sense of accomplishment on their faces as well as in their comments," said Hensley. "They made sure they were on the list for the next project we do."

University of the Cumberlands, located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, is a private liberal arts college in its 117th year of operation. Cumberlands offers four undergraduate degrees in 37 major fields of study, 30 minors and nine pre-professional programs, as well as online and accelerated, nontraditional programs for adults.