A Labor of Love: Helping Others in Need

By Mallory Lane

Published 07/30 2014 05:14PM

Updated 07/30 2014 06:26PM

PHILIPSBURG, CENTRE COUNTY - It's been a busy week for volunteers in Philipsburg who are working to help those in need, even though none of these volunteers are from our area.

These kids are coming together, who are already strangers themselves, to help another stranger, in an area they're not even from.

They're calling it a labor of love.

"It's actually pretty tough," volunteer Billy Bower said.

It's been a long week for Bower.

"Demolishing it was hard because we had to pry apart a lot of boards and that can be tough work," he said. "The rotten ones were easier, but when we got to the newer section, it became harder."

He's no construction professional, but he and five other volunteers have been working since Monday to build a porch.

"The old porch had a giant hole in it," Bower said. "It was a massive safety hazard and this is going to be a nice, new porch."

"It's tough, a lot tougher than it looks," volunteer DJ Marquardt said. "There's a lot that goes into it. There is a lot to be done in a short amount of time, with not that many people."

It's a small 6' X 8' porch, but for Barbara Ogden, it's a big miracle.

"They're making my life easier," Ogden said.

It was just a while back, Ogden walked outside her front door and fell, right through the porch.

Thankfully, she wasn't hurt, but she knew she was going to need some help to get a new one.

"I thank God for each and every one of them," Ogden said. "I"m glad they're here doing this for me."

This week, 31 people in Philipsburg will be getting free home repairs, from volunteers who come from all across the country.

They're helping elderly, low-income and disabled families in the area, putting in about 12,000 hours of labor, worth at least $80,000, for free.

It's a long week, these guys wouldn't trade for the world.

"At the end of the day, it's really rewarding," Bower said. "Just thinking about how blessed you are, and then you want to give some of that back. It's always a great feeling."

Their work will wrap up Friday.

These volunteers are part of the Christian-based Group Workcamps Foundation program and the Central PA Community Action.

Residents interested in applying to receive assistance like this must live within a 25 mile radius of Philipsburg-Osceola High School. To apply, residents can contact Leah Albright of Central PA Community Action at 814-765-1551 or 800-822-2610 ext. 1129 for an application.

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