Catholic Heart Work Camp helping out in South Pittsburgh


August 9, 2011

Jeremy Smith from Jarrettsville, MD and Zoe Pelly from Manasquan, NJ, help out in the kitchen of Fern Bey in Allentown during Catholic Heart Work Camp. The pair were among the 289 young people participating this year.

During the week of July 18, 289 students came to Pittsburgh as part of The Catholic Heart Work Camp.

The camp founded by Steve and Lisa Walker, graduates of Duquesne University, is currently based in Goldenrod, Florida.

Every summer, students arrive at numerous cities throughout the United States to work in the homes of senior citizens; long term care facilities, day care centers, etc. They come to help with painting, yard work, hauling trash, assisting in activities and more. The organization relies on various social service agencies to provide the work sites.

Pittsburgh has been a site since 1994; and the Pittsburgh Public Schools have rented space to the group each year. This year all 289 students stayed at Carrick High School sleeping in sleeping bags or on air mattresses in the gyms.

Nazareth Housing Services, based at the Elder-ado Center in Knoxville, provided 42 houses for the group. Each house has a Team of six or seven students with an adult "team builder." Previous to their coming, Sr. Pat Phillips visits each home to do a work order, which lists all the work to be done at that site, and indicates how many days the work will take.

Teams can remain in a home for up to four days, though some jobs are completed in two or three days.

The Valspar Paint company donated many gallons of paint— interior and exterior — to be used during the week. The teams bring the brushes, rollers, pans, etc. They even come with packed lunches—so there is no cost to the homeowner for any of the work.

Neighborhoods that benefited from the sprucing up that week included: Allentown, Beltzhoover; Brentwood, Baldwin, Knoxville, Mt. Oliver, Mt. Washington and South Side.


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