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Chambersburg Project in full swing

145 teens and 100 adults volunteer to tackle home and yard projects for people in need

July 12, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Ian Clayton, left, and Luke Ritz scrape paint off a Greencastle, Pa., porch Thursday as part of Chambersburg Project, a workcamp where volunteers help people in need.
By Jennifer Fitch, Staff Writer

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — The clacking from hammers and swoosh of paint brushes across Franklin County, Pa., are indicators that the Chambersburg Project is in full swing.

About 145 teenagers and 100 adults are volunteering this week to tackle home and yard projects for people in need.

“We’re trying to complete 72 projects in one week’s time,” said Karen Harbaugh, an adult crew leader.

The Chambersburg Project, which started in 1998, sends youths and crew leaders to Franklin County homes for things like roof repair, painting, yard work and installation of wheelchair ramps. Certified personnel handle limited amounts of electrical and plumbing issues each year.

Harbaugh’s crew was assigned several smaller projects, like painting, trimming bushes and cleaning gutters. It divided into two groups Thursday, allowing part of the crew to scrape and paint a side porch in Greencastle.

Ian Clayton, 14, of Fort Loudon, Pa., was one of the teens working on the porch for homeowner Sandy Stevens.

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“It gives back to people. We are the youth, and we should be doing things for the people who help us,” Ian said.

Luke Ritz, 13, of Greencastle, said he found it easy to wake up early to be dispatched at 7 a.m. He joined Chambersburg Project on the recommendation of his sister, who volunteered for several years.

Stevens, who has lived in Greencastle for 10 years, raved about the work and program.

“The kids are great,” she said. “They’re polite.”

Stevens first noticed information about Chambersburg Project on a bulletin board about four years ago.

The organization worked on her barn back then.

“They scraped it and painted it, and they did a fantastic job,” she said.

Stevens said she painted her porch a couple years ago but had concerns about doing so again, as she has gotten older.

Returning volunteer Julie Kennedy was happy to help.

“It’s a very rewarding experience,” she said.

The 21-year-old from Greencastle started participating in Chambersburg Project in 2006. She likes the social interaction and helping people close to home.

“I’ve gotten closer to God because of this,” Kennedy said.

The participants’ evenings are spent sleeping and eating in a school, and feature games, music, a speaker, Zumba and karaoke.

“Every year, you get good memories,” Kennedy said.

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