EDITORIAL: Hundreds of young volunteers gather in Wallingford to repair homes

EDITORIAL: Hundreds of young volunteers gather in Wallingford to repair homes

For those who may sometimes wonder whether there are any civic-minded and charitable people left in the world, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” Hundreds of young people from far and wide are in Wallingford to repair homes at no charge to the owners.

Wallingford Workcamp is partnering with Group Mission Trips to work on restoration projects for 54 homes. Young people from 15 to 21 are working on projects like building wheelchair ramps, painting houses, and fixing porches and roofs. They are staying at Sheehan High School.

“It’s been great that we’ve had a whole bunch of community support, both financial and volunteer wise,” said Conner Filkins, team director of Wallingford Workcamp, which is sponsored by First Congregational Church. Filkins has worked with Group Mission Trips to plan the project.

Out of more than 100 applicants, 54 homes were selected, said David Wells, public relations director of Wallingford Workcamp. “We want to find people that are elderly, disabled, or low-income,” Wells said.

In addition to travel costs of about $700 each, the volunteers — from New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ontario, Canada — have walked the extra mile by also contributing to the cost of buying building materials for the projects.

Not to waste an opportunity, the Wallingford Health Department has also planned a disaster simulation exercise during the week in order to simulate an emergency using Sheehan as a large-scale shelter and medical distribution point. The volunteers will participate in the drill.

So 54 Wallingford homes will get improvements at no cost to the occupants, and the town will be able to conduct a necessary disaster drill, and a big bunch of young people will pitch in and help their fellow man.

That sounds like a win-win-win to us.

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