Kentucky Changers come to county

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By Bryan Marshall

About 30 local homes will be transformed for free through fresh paint and minor repairs.

The unique opportunity is being offered by Kentucky Changers, an organization sponsored by the Kentucky Baptist Convention that uses seventh through 12th graders to refurbish exteriors of homes.

For the first time, the project will come to Grant County from July 4-11 with support from the Crittenden Baptist Association.

“This is in Christ’s name,” said Nancy Howe, who has participated in the program for 12 years with Knoxville Baptist Church. “These kids are doing this because they want to minister to someone in Jesus’ name.”

Kentucky Changers began in 1994 with one project in Hopkinsville. Less than 80 participants were involved in fewer than 10 projects during the first summer.

In 2008, Kentucky Changers’ 15th season, 83 projects were completed by more than 1,000 participants from 54 churches across Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Virginia.

This year, about 150 youth — 30 of which are local — will work to beautify 30 sites in Grant County.

The work will include replacing roofs or gutters, adding wheelchair ramps, painting houses and basic clean up.

Participants who work on job sites in Grant County will be housed at Grant County High School.

Youth participants will arrive on July 4 to get settled in before being assigned to a crew the next morning that will visit their host church for lunch and then visit their job site and meet the homeowner.

Crews will repair their assigned home July 6-10, and each evening crew members will be involved in a worship service.

The homes were chosen through an application process.

Once a homeowner applied, Wayne Browning, local construction coordinator, visited the homes to determine if the job is something the youth can do in a week. He notified the chosen homeowners in the spring.

There are 15 local host churches and more that donated money for the projects.

“The outreach that these churches were interested in having in the community and their cooperation and enthusiasm has been incredible,” Howe said. “I have been really pleased and excited by the interest that has been shown in ministering to local individuals in God’s name.”

For more information about Kentucky Changers, go to www.kybaptist.org/kychangers.