Workcamp for Lincoln has been “a blessing” to both the young and the old in Logan County.
A faith based mission was based in Lincoln this week with the goal of using the helping hands of young teens to provide the labor of painting, building wheelchair ramps and odd jobs that many elderly can’t afford or simply can’t do themselves.
Todd Henry of Lincoln, a 21-year veteran of leading more than 50 workcamps who organized the one happening in Logan County this week, said he was grateful for the 182 campers as well as all of the people that participated in the effort.
“How can you not feel good about seeing others helping others?” Henry said with a smile.
The camp, sanctioned by Group Mission Trips of Fort Collins, Colorado with local funding provided by the City of Lincoln, Logan County Board, Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois, Lincoln Christian University and other various churches in Lincoln, welcomed teens from both junior and senior high schools from the Midwest.
For Loretta Renken of Emden it meant the world to see the teens painting and building a way to easily get in and out of her home.
“It sure is a blessing and it means so much to me,” said Renken.
One group of workers that were all girls from Lincoln was paired with the celebrity team leader, Karen E. Laine, who stars on the “Good Bones” series on HGTV.
“I feel God blessed me with this program. He met a need, that I didn’t even know I needed. It has been uplifting, joyful and challenging, because some errors were made,” Laine said while breaking out in laughter.
“It has been wonderful to work with these girls. I think everyone should do this and I will come back next year if they let me,” said Laine, who lives in Indianapolis.
Laine, a former attorney who is a very down-to-earth person and isn’t afraid to talk to everyone, shared thoughts on her background with construction.
“My parents bought a home in Connecticut when I was two years old. I was inspired by watching my parents fix this home up. My Dad, who is an electrical engineer, would always build and fix things. I think early on my curiosity for how things work was fostered and that’s what building houses is. It’s how you put things together and how things work. I don’t have a formal education but after seeing how things are done, I am comfortable with all of it,” she said.
When asked if she could share a memory about an odd thing happening while filming the show she recalled an interesting event from episode one of season six dealing with the discovery of a concealed shoe, which is sometimes placed within the walls of a home as a good luck or protective measure.
“You have to understand that for every three minutes seen on television, there is 100 minutes that you don’t see. It was when the contractors found the concealed shoe and took it out. Seven people got hurt on the job site after that. The idea behind the concealed shoe, it’s protective. I don’t believe in the power of the concealed shoe but think it is important to respect others’ belief systems.
“I treated this with the respect for the people that put it there and put it back, but I also included a note referencing Jesus. As soon as we put it back we had no more accidents,” she continued.
The Workcamp for Lincoln project ends today but Henry, the organizer, hopes Group Mission Trips will continue in 2023.
“This was a trial run for Lincoln and I hope they will see the need we have and approve a request to come back,” said Henry.
Original posted at www.lincolncourier.com