Florida teens make a difference in Albany - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Florida teens make a difference in Albany

By Jay Polk - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - For most people summer vacation means a trip to some exotic destination, but Lacey Clarke of Jacksonville Beach, Florida had something different in mind.

"We're doing mission trips," she said.

Clarke is part of a group of 40 kids from Beach United Methodist Church who are spending this week in Albany. This is not their first time doing work here.

"This is our third year," said Brett Duncan from Beach United Methodist Church.

So how did this group decide to come to Albany?

Duncan said, "Our Youth Minister is actually from the Albany area."

So a connection was quickly established between the church and Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful.

"They found me a couple of years ago and so now each year they contact me and I come up with different projects for them to do," said Judy Bowles, the Executive Director of Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful.

Monday, the group started out at Henderson Gym. There they found some rooms that could use a little paint. For Lacey, it was a new experience.

"I haven't actually painted at all before," she said.

After the painting was finished for the day and after a brief break for lunch, the missionaries made their way to the Trees of Courage display on Westover.

After a lesson on how to trim the crepe myrtles from the city arborist, the group trimmed a few of the trees before heading off to their next stop. They'll certainly be busy this week.

"I'm going to work them real hard so that they'll sleep real good tonight," said Bowles.

For these teens, all that hard work that they're doing is worth it.

Clarke said, "It feels really good. It gives you relief because you get to help people in the community."

And the adults are impressed with the work ethic of this group of teens.

"They could be surfing, playing golf. Doing all the things they love to do, but they've taken time out of their Summer to make a difference in the community," said Duncan.

When they leave, Henderson gym - and many other places - will be looking good again.

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