GENTRY -- Campers at a United Methodist Church camp in Siloam Springs came to the aid of residents of Gentry and the surrounding communities by building wheelchair ramps, painting, doing yard work, and completing other projects at no cost to the residents needing the assistance.
Campers worked during the day in the Ozark Mission Project by helping people in the area and then participated in church activities in the evenings. About 45 youth were participating in the current camp at First Church, a United Methodist congregation in Siloam Springs, last week.
On Thursday, two groups of campers were in the Gentry area, constructing a wheelchair ramp for one Gentry resident and painting an existing ramp for another. The service was provided at no cost to the local residents, not even the cost of paint, lumber and materials. That cost was covered by the camp fees paid by each participant in the summer camp.
According to the Ozark Mission Project website, OMP "began in 1986 with the desire to utilize volunteers from all over to engage directly with communities located across Arkansas. The hope was to meet the needs of individuals and families in Arkansas ... through the completion of beautification and accessibility projects such as wheelchair ramps, painting, minor construction repair and yard work, all while forging relationships with [their] neighbors, each other and with God."
The goal of OMP is to transform lives "through worship, fellowship, and hands-on mission," as well as to provide "an experience of character-building, love, and acceptance."
"OMP's volunteers provide minor home repairs at [their] mission weeks," according to the OMP website.