Teens making a big difference in Delaware County

Wednesday, July 21st 2004, 10:24 am
By: News On 6

400 high schoolers from across the country are giving up part of their summer vacation to help Oklahomans in need.

They’re with Christian youth groups and this week they're in Jay for the Dream Catcher work camp, where they will repair homes for low income, elderly, and handicapped people free of charge.

News on 6 reporter Patrina Adger visited the group in Delaware County for the story.

Jean Cooper with the Dream Catcher work camp: “It's been a dream of ours to help these people to become more independent, so it's a way of catching that dream for a lot of folks here in the community."

That's the purpose of the Dream Catcher work camp. Hundreds of Christian young people, like 16 year old Laura Robbins from Nebraska, are volunteering their time to paint and repair more than 60 homes throughout Delaware County, which will benefit the lives of people they don't even know. "I just like helping people out and they get a lot out of it to for us helping them."

And Ralph and Rosie Raymeser are grateful. Ralph Raymeser: "They've been painting, making a room for my grandson, make bedroom out of it." The young people are really making a difference in these residents' lives.

They're doing everything from painting houses to building wheelchair ramps for people who otherwise wouldn't have the means to do so. 69 year old Tom Cantrell is wheelchair bound and has fallen several times just trying to get through his front door. Thanks to the dream catchers, Cantrell is getting a wheelchair ramp. He's glad so many people care so much.

Chicagoan Joe Bocek says that's what makes this mission worthwhile. In his third year in the program, Joe says he's doing God's will and doesn't believe his summer is wasted, not when it means helping a neighbor even if they are thousands of miles away. “It makes my summer seem like it's meaningful. I get a week off from work. This is my vacation right now."

The teens are repairing homes in six towns in Delaware County and volunteering more than 12,000 hours.