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Hundreds of volunteers fix homes in Kanawha County this summer

ASP uses volunteer labor to address critical housing needs in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. (WCHS/WVAH)

All summer long, hundreds of volunteers from across the United States will be in Kanawha County to help repair homes.

This week, some of those volunteers have been working on Sue Harper’s home in Cross Lanes.

It’s a home she’s lived in for 13 years.

"I wouldn't be able to have it done. There's no way I could have it done,” said Sue Harper.

The volunteers are with Appalachia Service Project.

About 650 volunteers from across the country will be repairing homes in Kanawha County this summer.

Their goal is to fix between 15 to 20 homes in the county.

"We pride ourselves with being a relationship ministry with construction on the side,” said ASP Center Director Maggie DeWeese. “What you see is the construction that we're doing, the relationships keep them coming back every year."

Harper said she's amazed at the work the teens are doing.

"It’s really indescribable. There's nothing I could say to tell how I feel,” said Harper as she looked on at the volunteers. “I just feel so blessed that they have come here and refreshing to see a group of young men like this that is willing to do all this in their summer time."

For some of the teens working on Harper's home, it's their first-year volunteering with the non-profit organization.

"Honestly it feels amazing,” said first-year volunteer Hollis Howe. “She's [Harper] been so nice. She's brought us sweet tea almost every single day, and just knowing that you're making a difference is very fulfilling."

Other volunteers keep coming back year after year.

"Just looking at the homeowners' faces and seeing how grateful they are, that really makes a difference. It's something that will stick with us for a lifetime,” said Nick Sansone who’s volunteered with ASP for two summers.

This is the 50th summer of service for ASP.

The organization uses volunteer labor to address critical housing needs in Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Projects span 26 counties, and more than 1,500 volunteers will be put to work to fix homes like Sue Harper's.

Home repair is free for those who apply.

The project runs until the beginning of August.

For more information on Appalachia Service Project, click here.

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