Group Cares invested $253,861 during summer mission trip to Shamokin area
SHAMOKIN - Out-of-town volunteers made repairs to 34 homes and invested $253,860.86 during a Christian mission work camp this summer in the Shamokin area, according to project reports.
There were 329 volunteers in the area from July 21 to 27 with Group Cares, a faith-based firm that organizes Christian missions nationwide. Their labor was valued at $121,500, estimated at $10 hourly at 30 hours each and combined with the estimated 60 hours of 19 staff members at $20 hourly.
Group Cares provided City Hall with reports on home repairs and economic impact, which were presented during a city council workshop session Wednesday.
The volunteers built one wheelchair ramp, replaced or constructed six porches, completed two weatherization projects, installed skirting on one mobile home, constructed or repaired six sets of safety steps, and completed nine interior painting projects and 49 exterior painting projects. There were 18 other projects completed.
Mike Krantz, Group Cares administrator, was pleased with the results and hopes more can be accomplished in the future. Group Cares will get another shot when volunteers and staff return for another work camp July 20 to 26 2014. He said they're eyeing a return in 2015, also.
"To be honest with you, I'd like to do more for more people. Of course we're restrained by financial capabilities," Krantz said Thursday. "I'm glad to have made the impact we did in Shamokin."
"We're hoping to remain in the area in 2015 and beyond. We want to keep people thinking that way," he said.
Recipients of the volunteer work were screened. Successful applicants were elderly, disabled or low-income, and unable to make home repairs on their own.
According to Group Cares, $22,575.51 was spent on capital improvements to local houses including supply purchases, permit fees and waste disposal. Another $16,728.85 was expended for food and shelter and associated labor for volunteers, who stayed at the Shamokin Area Middle/High School, and $7,440 for staff expenses like travel and lodging and $5,666.50 on staff and vehicle costs.
Volunteers were said to have spent a combined $19,075 on items like gasoline, souvenirs, incidentals and snacks.
Development, staffing, insurance and other company investment costs totaled $60,000.
Participants donated 1,250 cans to a local food bank, valued at $875.
Group Cares recruits high school-aged volunteers and adult mentors from church groups and other organizations nationwide for its weeklong workcamps. The volunteers raise money to fund their trip and partially fund supply purchases for their projects.
Group Cares missions were planned for 40 cities in 2013.
A mission was made to the Shamokin area in 2002 and work was performed at 25 homes. The group had hoped to work on between 50 and 70 homes this past summer.