On February 24, 2018 eighteen volunteers arrived in Marsh Harbour from Florida to donate a week of their time assisting in various Abaco communities. The volunteers are all members of the First Presbyterian Church in Myrtle Beach and began their week by attending the Sunday morning service at the Kirk of the Pines in Marsh Harbour. The Pastor of the Kirk of the Pines, Gabe Swing, was formerly Youth Pastor at the church attended by the volunteers in Myrtle Beach and was instrumental in getting them here through the Bahamas Youth Network with which he is affiliated.
Although this was their first time assisting in Abaco they had previously assisted Gabe Swing in Long Island over the past four years.
Most of their time was spent repairing a house in Murphy Town which had received severe roof damage during the last hurricane which had also impacted the inside of the house. They removed the affected half of the roof and replaced the shingles, then patched holes and painted the outside of the house with paint donated by The Paint Place. They also replaced bathroom fixtures and donated a new refrigerator and replaced the stove.
Their busy days began at 8.30 a.m. and sometimes did not end until 7.00p.m. Following this project the group of volunteers then attempted more repairs at a house around the corner. They felt pleased with the results of their labour and also humbled that they had been able to give back in this way.
On a couple of the days they also received assistance from Kirk of the Pines members Timothy Sands and his teenage children Branden and Rachel during their mid-term break.
In addition to repairing houses, the team also wanted to assist the community in other ways. They visited the Cooper’s Town Primary School where they distributed notebooks, crayons and snacks and read stories to the children and also visited the Mudd where they handed out shoes at Pastor Weatherford’s church.
During their stay in Marsh Harbour the volunteers were housed in the Kenyon Center of the Friends of the Environment with which they were very impressed and found to be very accommodating.