AU volunteers help improve community


For the last seven years members of First Baptist Church in Opelika, Alabama have worked on community improvement projects.Students complete interior and exterior projects throughout Port St. Joe, Apalachicola and Mexico Beach.

Wes Locher | The Star
Published: Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 09:31 AM.

Sure signs of spring in Gulf County: sunshine, warm weather and student volunteers from Auburn University helping around the community.

Now in its seventh year, the joint effort by the Christian Community Development Fund and college students from First Baptist Church in Opelika, Alabama aims to complete community improvement projects in Port St. Joe, Apalachicola and Mexico Beach.

Students spend their spring breaks helping with projects that include painting, gardening, construction and inside cleaning.

“The students allow a lot of projects to get done in a short period of time,” said Diana Burkett, executive director of the CCDF.

More than 300 students made the trek to the Forgotten Coast, 200 of which are stationed across North Port St. Joe, St. Joe Beach, Highland View, Oak Grove and in town.

Materials are purchased by homeowners who need work completed or purchased by CCDF through grants, donations and church partnerships.

Over their four days students are assigned to a large job, where they work for the duration of their visit or a small job that requires them to bounce from project to project. Some also work with street ministry projects.

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