ABOVE PHOTO: Members of World Changers, a faith based group that promotes partnerships through volunteering, help repaint one of the walls at Raymond Rosen Manor in North Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Housing Authority estimates that World Changers is donating more than $100,000 in labor.
The Philadelphia Housing Authority will receive over $100,000 in labor as a result of the volunteer efforts of its new community service partner, World Changers. Volunteers from across the U.S. will work at four public housing developments to help provide renovations from July 16 thru July 19.
World Changers, a group that promotes youth mission projects among Southern Baptists and other evangelical churches, will coordinate the maintenance effort at Raymond Rosen, Bartram Village, Spring Garden Apartments, and Johnson Homes. 70 volunteers will take part in landscaping, painting and other general maintenance work at these sites.
“We welcome partnerships with groups such as World Changers,” said PHA President and CEO Kelvin Jeremiah. “Partnerships are more important than ever, given the fiscal challenges that we face today. More importantly, partnerships build a sense of ownership and community that is necessary for a city and its neighborhoods to stay vibrant and vital, and to thrive.”
The partnership with World Changers was spearheaded by PHA Commissioner Rev. Bonnie Camarda, the Director of Partnerships for the Salvation Army of Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware.
“My hope is that PHA will become a cornerstone agency joining community service and volunteer resources. I see this as a long term partnership that will benefit both PHA and World Changers,” Camarda said. “Part of community service is showing others that you care and that’s what PHA residents will see right in their own back yard.”
Camarda also said she hoped that residents who see the volunteers would want to join the activities and lend a hand.
These “hands on” projects are exactly what World Changers is about. Volunteers donate a week of their summer working in conjunction with cities, churches and community agencies to provide renovations at no charge.
“We appreciate the opportunity to be here,” said Blu Berner, the Project Coordinator for World Changers. “We appreciate the opportunity to interact with all the residents here in Philadelphia. We look forward to coming back not only next year but in the many years to come.”
Raymond Rosen Resident Council President Shirley Spencer thanked World Changers for their generosity and said she and her fellow residents would be glad to have them back next year.
PHA estimates that World Changers is donating more than $100,000 in labor over the four day event. Members of the building trades unions employed by the agency will work with volunteers and supervise their activities.
World Changers’ web site says that its mission opportunities meet real needs, and that volunteers will experience the needs and heartbeat of the city while learning about its history and culture. The group seeks to provide youth and adults with opportunities to serve a community physically and spiritually through practical learning experiences that teach servant-hood and a personal commitment to missions.