CHAVIES — A group of ambitious high school students have spent the last two Saturdays in a fairly unconventional way. They have been volunteering as a part of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky’s youth leadership and philanthropy program. The 12 students have been able to be so successful in recruiting volunteers that they have been able to do twice the work.
The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky’s youth leadership program (YLP) is working to create a young group of philanthropists in Hazard and Perry County. So far for their first project, they have been able to do better than they had expected.
The YLP is starting by working with an existing nonprofit, the Housing Development Alliance, before they start doing monthly charity work. According the Robin Gabbard with the Foundation, working with the Housing Development Alliance was a good way to start with nonprofit work because they already had a program for teenagers.
The Housing Development Alliance build affordable housing for low income families and then helps them find affordable loan options for mortgages. They build many of these homes using volunteers.
To raise a house in just two Saturdays, they utilized the work of more than 50 volunteers.
Janie Rose of the Housing Development Alliance said that after the successful first Saturday, they made the quick decision to have their carpenters build the foundation for a second house and have half of the next Saturday’s volunteers raise that house.
On August 18, YLP had volunteers from the Davidson Baptist Church Youth Group, Perry County Central JROTC, and the Buckhorn JROTC.
Gabbard said that the YLP will be working on the Run for the Hills Charity Challenge as their next major project. They are hoping to be as diverse as possible with their projects and are looking at a food drive for one of their upcoming projects.