The Southern Appalachian Labor School (SALS) plans to bring up to 400 teenagers and adults to the Upper Kanawha Valley to improve the homes of elderly, disabled and low-income residents in Kanawha and Fayette counties.

As many as 50 famifies will benefit from the Workcamp, coming on July 5-11. The Workcamp will provide the free home repairs through Group Mission Trips, sponsored locally by SALS, in collaboration with Rebuilding Together.

Group Mission Trips is a non-profit, interdenominational Christian volunteer home-repair organization headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado. This summer, almost 15,000 young people and adults will participate in 35 Workcamps in communities across the United States.

At each Workcamp, teenagers and adults — members of church youth groups — volunteer a week of their time to repair homes throughout the community.

“These really are remarkable young people,” said Jeff Thompson, of Group Mission Trips. “Each one is actually paying for the privilege of working in your community. Workcamp registration fees are used to cover our costs for food, insurance, and building materials.”

The Workcamp participants will be housed at East Bank Middle School, with the campers sleeping on classroom floors, eating in the cafeteria, and enjoying evening programs in the gym. “This service to the community would be impossible without the wonderful cooperation of the Kanawha County School system,” remarked SALS Director John David.

Group Mission Trips will reimburse all costs to the lodging facility.

With humble beginnings going back to 1990, Group Mission Trips has been partnering with and helping communities across the United States and the world. As the non-profit mission ministry of Group Cares,

Group Mission Trips works hard to bring meaningful service to the communities served. Since the beginning, thousands upon thousands of mission trip participants have racked up millions of volunteer hours serving people in need.

All these years later, one constant remains true: Group Mission Trips strongly believes in providing opportunities for teenagers to encounter the scripture mission of providing shelter through serving others either in their own backyard or halfway across the globe. SALS began sponsoring the program 20 years ago and has had 50 Workcamps with approximately 18,000 participants and staff come to this area.

This summer’s 35 Workcamps will take place in different states, including but not limited to Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Group Mission Trips has hosted over 480,000 participants who have provided more than 14 million hours of volunteer service directly to people in need.

Repairs offered through the Workcamp include interior and exterior painting, weatherization, porch and wheelchair ramp construction and other work. Residents interested in applying to receive assistance may contact SALS at 304-465-9732 or 304-250-7627. Leave a message if no one answers. Residents can also send an email to

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