Service projects educate teenagers

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Updated: 4/20/2013 4:59 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- The Tupelo Outreach Project goes to work every third weekend during the month of April.

Teenagers have the opportunity to perform service projects to improve their community.

The teens from north Mississippi are comprised of 18 teams from 17 churches.

"We're doing this out of volunteering. How to help people that need help, you know just Christian work," said Rashad Ruff, volunteer.

The teenagers perform about 16 hours of community service over a two-day period.
 
Participants say they are also learning important skills and values for the future. 

"I really hope to get a new understanding of really helping people without knowing them and gaining anything from it," stated Brooke Denney, volunteer.

"It's totally a youth mission program designed to not only teach the youth about their community that they live in-but also that mission work begins at home," said John Bowen, director of Hill T.O.P.

The young volunteers say those who did not participate are missing out on important life lessons and a true learning experience. 

"They're missing out on the satisfaction of getting the job done," said Hannah Park, volunteer. "[Wonderful feeling] knowing that someone is going to come home and there going to see a brand new house that's so better than what they had before."

The project also affords the teenagers the chance to work in an outdoor environment.

"A lot of these kids don't have activities that get them outside. This is an opportunity for them to be outside and do some work and understand what it means to do something besides use technology for their entertainment," said adult team leader Amanda Horton.

Each teenager has to raise money to cover the cost of volunteering for the weekend.

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