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Quick Fixes, Long-Lasting Effects

SCRANTON — The streets in west Scranton will be lined with paint cans, toolboxes, and volunteers from all over the U.S., mostly teenagers who have come here on mission trips.

All week, they’ll be fixing up houses for folks who need it.

This isn’t your typical summer vacation but these aren’t your typical kids either.

“I feel like the lady is going to be really proud of us, and I feel like I’m going to be really proud of us as well just to know that we made a lot of people happy,” said Francesca Hathaway of Lake Placid, NY.

This isn’t their home. In fact, many of them are very far away from home. They come from churches and schools all over the country. Organized by NeighborWorks, a community outreach organization, hundreds of volunteers will be doing odd jobs in the Scranton area this week.

“I’m a really good scraper!”

They are sometimes learning skills they didn’t know they had.

“Right now, I’m scraping and we’re re doing the porch to make it more accessible for our resident,” said Elise Pease Neugebauer of Annapolis, MD.

Crews will work on about 50 homes, mostly in west Scranton, throughout the week. Some of the jobs they’re doing are to make the homes more accessible. Other jobs are just aesthetic, but they’re just as valuable to the homeowner.

“I’m getting my railing done. It’s all rusted out. These fine young people are doing the painting and all the work.”

Theresa Naegele, 92, of Scranton says the rest of this summer will look a lot better with a freshly painted porch and garage door, little details that have gone forgotten.

“I have pride in my home, and it hasn’t had any upkeep since my husband passed away, and that’s 20 years about.”

So, the outside of Theresa’s home will match the way she’s always felt about it. The volunteers will be fixing up and lifting spirits for the rest of the week.


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