Dallas First United Methodist Church’s 15th annual River of Life event is set for July 17 through 21 at 19 construction sites throughout Paulding County.
More than 100 teens are paying almost $100 apiece to participate in the event. Adults’ jobs will range from overseeing construction work to chaperoning, transporting and feeding the young participants, said program director Chuck Posey.
“It’s a local-type mission trip,” Posey said. “[Students] see a thing they don’t usually see — elderly people in need.”
The group includes members of nine churches. Most are from Paulding institutions though members from churches in Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama also plan to participate, he said.
The group will meet at the Dallas church Wednesday night, attend a church service and make the first of their four overnight stays at the church, said Posey, who is in his 13th year as director.
On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the group will perform a variety of tasks including repairing roofs, back porch steps and decks; painting; landscaping; pressure washing and building privacy fences, he said. One scheduled job is the repair of a mobile home’s roof.
Program organizers get names of those they will help from a number of sources, including church members and Paulding nonprofits like Shepherd’s Rest, Posey said.
He said clients typically are recently widowed homeowners or those who “are just down on their luck.”
However, Posey said River of Life’s goal is to assist homeowners. The program typically does not include rental properties because it would only enhance the value for non-occupant owners – not the occupants.
“We try not to do rentals,” he said.
Posey, a Dallas tax consultant, said he has donated his time to help organize and lead the program because of the service it gives to those in need.
“You do what God tells you,” he said.
River of Life teaches young participants to give their labor and time to others, as well as developing relationships with others in the Paulding community and creating a “link” to the older generation, Posey said.
“It’s what I call a ‘triple win,’” he said.