Help is on the way for several low income homeowners in Ashe County.
Carolina Cross Connection (CCC), a nonprofit outreach ministry that performs basic home repairs for homeowners in Ashe, Alleghany and Wilkes counties, begins its 27th summer this week.
For the next six weeks, volunteers and church groups from as far away as Georgia will be repairing homes and bonding with families in the three county area by day, and spending their nights reflecting on good deeds done at the CCC’s camp, on the campus of Central Wilkes Middle School.
“We’re an outreach ministry based in Wilkesboro,” Katie Davis, camp director of CCC, said. “For the next six weeks, youth and adults will come and stay for a week. During that week, they will go out to Ashe, Wilkes and Alleghany (counties) and do things like build and repair steps, paint, do yard work and floor repairs.”
Davis said volunteers will be working in Ashe County several days each week, most likely Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
On any given week, there will be eight volunteer groups working at different home sites in the area.
According to Davis, volunteers come from all across N.C. and throughout the south. Churches from Mooresville, Charlotte, Elkin and Greensboro are just a few of the groups scheduled to spend one week volunteering for a good cause. This summer, there will be churches from Virginia and Georgia who will be taking part in the program too.
There is definitely a need for such programs in Ashe County.
According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 20 percent of county residents live below the poverty line. Yet with a home ownership rate of 78 percent — well above the state average — the county’s median household income is $35,670, which is $10,000 less than the state average.
Similar statistics are found in Alleghany and Wilkes counties.
“Our volunteers work entirely for free,” Davis said. “We’re a nonprofit, but we gladly accept donations of any kind, whether they be in the form of money or supplies.”
Davis said anyone who wishes to donate time or funds can go to CCC’s website at www.carolinacrossconnection.org to find out more information.
Davis also said there’s still time for homeowners to be a part of this summer’s CCC.
“Although we partner with many local agencies in order to get names and information on families needing help, we also rely on word of mouth to find families that we otherwise would not know, to seek us out for help,” Davis said.
Those interesting in learning more can go to CCC’s website or email Davis at email@example.com.
Alan Bulluck can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @albulluck.