This summer about 500 teens will be reaching out to the southern Lancaster County community with helping hands.

They'll be making free home repairs such as building wheelchair ramps, doing interior and exterior painting, repairing roofs, fixing porches and other maintenance as part of REACH Workcamp, which is scheduled for July 9-15. The workcamp is expected to involve teens from throughout the United States, as well as from Lancaster County.

The workcamp is being sponsored by West Willow United Methodist Church in Willow Street.

"We will be making repairs at no cost to the home owner to homes of people with limited incomes in southern Lancaster County," said Mary Strausner, secretary of the church whose husband Al is responsible for coordinating the REACH Workcamp to come to the area.

Strausner said the workcamp offers extra help at no cost to those in need, especially older people and those on fixed incomes.

Due to the fact that so many volunteers have signed up for the workcamp, REACH is in need of homes to repair. Anyone who would like an application can pick one up at the Community Action Program (CAP) Office in Quarryville in the Herr Business Plaza, or call West Willow U.M. Church at 464-3211 and they will send one.

A REACH staff person will be in the area beginning March 13 to review applications, view sites and evaluate the work that is needed.

Once a home is suggested, a work site coordinator will visit to make sure it is a safe working situation and the work needed is something the teens can do.

Typically, each site will have a team of seven teen volunteers, along with adult supervisors.

The visiting teens and their adult supervisors will be staying in the Lampeter-Strasburg School District, where they will sleep, shower, eat and meet at the high school.

For more information, call CAP at 786-4468.

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