DALLAS (AP) — While the average teenager might spend summer days playing video games or binge watching TV shows, 60 Texas middle school and high school students are arriving at a worksite at 7 a.m. for a full day of manual labor.
And they're paying $279 to do it.
As part of Bounce Student Disaster Recovery, a ministry of Texas Baptists, teenagers are spending a week of summer vacation improving homes for families in Dallas.
The Dallas Morning News (http://bit.ly/1USDULE ) reports Bounce worked with the People Helping People charity to find community members in need of home repair and to obtain materials. People Helping People is part of Dallas' housing/community service department that assists elderly and disabled homeowners with minor exterior home repairs. The volunteers are providing necessary labor such as painting, siding, roofing and yard work.
Volunteering "is a great way to outwardly show faith through actions," Frisco Reedy High School junior Tanner Holt said. "It's an eye-opening experience because you realize how other people live sometimes and you get blessed in the process, being able to serve and be humbled to that."
Throughout the first week of the program, students worked to rehabilitate 12 homes in the Dallas area. In the next four weeks, Bounce will move on to Bartlesville, Oklahoma; Mineral Wells; Waco; and Houston to work on more homes.
This week, First Baptist Church in Duncanville hosted 175 students and student leaders, giving them a place to eat, sleep, shower and worship.
"We are excited to be mobilizing students for our third year this summer for community rehabilitation and disaster recovery," Bounce director David Scott said. "People may at times feel hopeless because of their living conditions. It's my hope that our participants might be able to help restore hope in the lives of the people they serve as well as improve their home situation."
The volunteers work from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m., climbing on roofs, layering insulation and vinyl, and painting.
"This has been a really good experience," Frisco High School freshman volunteer Faith Dalwood said. "You get to see how much you truly have and you get to see people around you that love their community so much that they want to help."
Through summer community service, Bounce hopes to foster a love for helping people and a strengthened faith in God among the student volunteers.
"When students serve, it changes them," Scott said. "That's what we want to do. We want them to see missions as a lifestyle as opposed to something we come and do once a week during the summer."