Saturday, July 20, 2024

Catholic Diocese of Richmond Renovates Williamsburg Woman’s Home During Annual Teen Work Camp

Teens from all areas of Virginia descended on Williamsburg to repair a local resident’s home during the Catholic Diocese of Richmond’s annual teen work camp. (Megan Roche/WYDaily)

WILLIAMSBURG — Thanks to the Catholic Diocese of Richmond and its annual teen work camp, a Williamsburg woman received some much-needed upgrades to her home.

Susan Craft, a 30-year Williamsburg resident, desperately needed new windows on her home. After receiving a letter asking if she needed home repair assistance, she applied to receive just new windows.

“When they came out, they had told me they might not be able to do the windows because they would only be here for a week. They said they might only be able to get to the front steps and the back deck,” Craft said.

But when the work camp team came for its first day, Craft was told that she’d get her front step railings, a new back deck, and all the windows replaced in her home.

Catholic Diocese of Richmond’s teen work camp participants repair a local woman’s windows. (Megan Roche/WYDaily)

The work camp is an annual event run by the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, where teens from all across the commonwealth visit different areas of the state to perform home repairs for those in need. Craft’s home was one of 12 in the Williamsburg area that received repairs.

In addition to the teen volunteers, local contractors also volunteer their time to teach home renovation skills to the youth.

Jezebel Conti, an 18-year-old Newport News resident, and Sean Larkin, an 18-year-old Richmond resident, were members of the crew repairing Craft’s home.

“It’s really fun, but it’s really helping me learn how to do this kind of work and how to put God into it,” Conti said. “It’s really powerful to me to be doing the physical work. We talk about doing good deeds in church a lot, but being able to be out in the community and meeting the people that you are doing the work for is a really big thing, but to literally be the hands and feet of God as we are improving these peoples lives makes it so much better,” Larkin shared.

A chaperone for the teen volunteers, Scott Campolongo is currently in his third year of seminary school. Campolongo said he enjoys being with the teens who participate in the program, as it fuels his desire to become a priest that much more.

A local contractor teaches the teen volunteers about how to properly use a drill as they build a deck on a Williamsburg home. (Megan Roche/WYDaily)

“Getting to be with the people that I’m called to serve is a huge motivator. One day I’ll be a priest to these children, so to be onsite with them and laboring together is a beautiful thing. This is why, these people are why I am so motivated to continue my studies,” Campolongo said.

As she watched the work on her house throughout the week, Craft found herself with tears in her eyes more than once.

“Once these repairs are done, I’ll really be able to enjoy being outside again. Just getting up and down the front steps has been such a challenge. I haven’t been able to have my family come over and enjoy the backyard because I didn’t want them walking on the bad wood. I’ve even bought myself a new grill so I can entertain without worrying about things being safe.”

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