Volunteers Lending a Hand in Lackawanna County

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A city in Lackawanna County is getting a helping hand from hundreds of out-of-town teens, many who have never been to Northeastern PA before.

The volunteers from across the country are working in Carbondale all this week.

More than 200 teenagers, mostly from the midwest, descended on Carbondale Sunday. They're from an organization called "Group Mission Trips" and these teens actually pay to travel to places like Lackawanna County to help out homeowners in need.

Phyllis Hoyle's porch on her home in Carbondale was in desperate need of a new paint job.

The job requires elbow grease Phyllis says she just doesn't haven't the energy for anymore. But, by the end of this week the painting will be done. All thanks to a team of teenagers who have never met Phyllis before.

"I'm so thrilled that they are here, this is a great help to me," said Hoyle.

"She thanked us for coming, but we thanked her for letting us do the work, it's really gratifying work to be able to do, to help people that really need it," added volunteer Bill Blackburn of Columbus, OH.

The teens and their chaperones are visiting northeastern p-a for the third summer in a row. They'll do odd jobs around Carbondale all week for dozens of homeowners who signed up for the program through local churches.

More than 200 volunteers from all over the midwest drove in on Sunday, bringing their own tools and donated materials. They'll work on 35 homes in Carbondale this week.

Alice Eltz's home is getting a fresh coat of paint, too. A real blessing, Alice says, since Carbondale's aging population can really use the help.

"Oh, it's beautiful, because I used to do it all myself, I'd paint the garage and paint all around the house and the siding," said Eltz.

In teams of four or five, the teens tackle jobs, big and small, at each of the homes on their list. The kids say the work is worth it, to see the finished product. On the homes, and on the homeowners' faces.

"The last day, just looking at all you've accomplished, from the start and comparing it to what you've done," said volunteer David Goslin.

"Group Mission Trips" sends church youth groups from across the country to different jobs. Organizers say they plan to visit our area again.