On Saturday, March 9, the first of dozens of students from the University of Richmond, Notre Dame University and Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, will be descending on McDowell County, West Virginia for their spring breaks.

Instead on lounging on a beach in Florida or Mexico, these college students will be giving of their time volunteering for Americans Helping Americans® partner there, Big Creek People in Action, and working hard to help the nation’s least fortunate – the elderly and disabled living in one of the poorest counties in the country.

The first group to arrive, 24 students from the University of Richmond will be spending their week laying laminate flooring for Cynthia, a housewife with severe diabetes and other health issues and raising three children.

The will also be repairing a kitchen floor for Melinda who is caring for her very sick husband and a child with Asperger’s Syndrome.

When the group of Notre Dame students arrives the next day, they will be busy installing insulation and sheetrock in an old cabin.

While there the students will also take some time to work with elementary school students in BCPIA’s afterschool program with the boys going to a gym to play basketball while the girls will have a “spa day” receiving facials and manicures.

The Rider students who arrive on March 16 will be taking on the task of removing and replacing an old, rotting kitchen floor of an elderly cancer survivor in the small community of Caretta who is once again battling the disease.

While BCPIA co-executive director Marsha Timpson plans the home rehab program, sorting through the applications and vetting homeowners, and the volunteers are providing the free labor, it is up to us – Americans Helping Americans® and you – to make sure they have the shingles to repair roofs, the flooring for the kitchen, the lumber for handicap ramps, and more, to enable them to get the job done.

The home rehab season has just begun, and BCPIA has projects scheduled now through the fall. It would be a shame, and a great disappointment to Marsha and the homeowner, if the funding is not in place for the building supplies needed to do the job.

Many of these on the schedule this year have been waiting for years – please help us end their wait this year.