Students around the country are on the tail end of their summer vacation. Soon, they'll return to the classroom and some are spending that time giving back.
While some students are soaking up the sun on a beach, 174 kids are building up homes in the Tennessee Valley. They are a part of more than 10,000 volunteers that are on domestic mission trips across the United States and Canada. Their goal is to provide service in communities that often get looked over.
"These kids are paying about $340 each to come and volunteer time and they do construction, a lot painting, scraping paint, they're building a porch at this house,” Jordie Skinner with World Changers explained.
World Changers is an organization that partners with cities like Chattanooga to help those in need. Their mission is to improve living conditions for people in North America, and show them hope through service.
"We love working with these people, they're so thankful, they're just so gracious for what these kids are doing because it's not every day that you see young kids, middle, high school and college students willing to work on houses,” Skinner said.
During the week, students are working on 15 different sites in Chattanooga. They’ll provide food for the homeless, construct wheelchair ramps, and fix homes for people like Bobbie Carmichael, who couldn't complete the work otherwise.
"We're very grateful for them, and for them to come here and do this. It’s alright, it's wonderful,” Carmichael said.
It’s not a traditional way to spend your summer vacation. These young people can't do everything, but they know they can do something to help others.
"I go through a lot at home, but coming here I see a different perspective of things and I go back confident that I can go back and change my family,” explained volunteer Liberty Hobbs from Arkansas.
This is the 14th year World Changers have come to the Tennessee Valley. In total, they've fixed about 800 homes.
Families who are interested in receiving service from World Changers can fill out an application.
The organization is also look for volunteers interested in serving next year. All of this can be found on their website.