ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Dozens of volunteers have strapped on their tool belts to spruce up a west Rockford neighborhood.
An army of volunteers is taking over Salter Avenue to give the
neighborhood a makeover. Hard at work are local groups, including one from Morning Star Church in Rockford, as well as ones from out of state. That includes 35 teens from Bachelor Creek Mission Church of Christ in Wabash, Indiana.
“It's a big world but one person can make a big difference too,” says
14-year-old Audrie Randel.
"I like helping people and that's what I feel I am called to do so I wanted to help," says 19-year-old Bennie Baker.
Many of these teens aren't afraid to get their hands dirty; they've been on mission trips before and are eager to help out fix up about a dozen homes in Rockford.
"As Christians we are called to serve others and love others and it’s cool to do something not for yourself but for other people,” says 18-year-old Hannah Cole.
“It's a good feeling to know you've done something for them,” says 17-year-old Nicholas Ridenour.
The week's projects include painting, clearing bushes, and installing a playground; not a typical summer vacation for teenagers.
“I think a lot of times this generation gets a bad rap for being lazy and selfish but there are a lot of good kids out there. It’s really encouraging as a student minister to see 40 kids give up a week of their time to be here and serve others," says Aaron McClary, the youth minister at from Bachelor Creek Mission Church of Christ.
The crews will finish up their work Thursday
This project is a team effort. The city of Rockford has contributed resources and a local group, Kids Around the World, is building a new playground. The national faith based group Engage organized the various out of town volunteers. Members of New Zion Baptist Church are also pitching in this week.