Summer vacation is a time for kids to splash around the pool and frolic in the glory of mindless afternoons.
It’s also a time for McPOW, a week-long summertime program which just finished its 11th year. McPOW stands for McMinnville People Out Witnessing and it encourages local youth to get active in community projects.
“It gets teens off the couch and gets them helping people,” said Matt Jackson of Christ Community Church. “We had 17 different churches involved this year and averaged about 70 people each day. It’s good to get them out doing community projects.”
The program targeted various organizations for volunteer attention throughout the week. On Friday, Cadi Beth Todd was at the Senior Center watering begonias and other flowers that had been planted earlier in the week. Before that, Todd volunteered at Meals on Wheels, Raintree Manor and NHC.
“At NHC, we took the patients out to get ice cream from an ice cream truck,” said Todd. “At Raintree Manor, we filled bird feeders and washed their vans.”
Lizzie Begley attends First Baptist Church and is a member of the WCHS graduating class of 2015. She plans to attend Chattanooga State beginning Aug. 24.
“It’s worth it to see these people smile just from us helping them,” said Begley. “I think it brings more joy to us than it does to them.”
McPow was based this year out of Christ Community Church. Participants met there every morning for worship before heading out to perform service projects around 10:30 a.m. each day. Those who took part in the program and volunteered their time were treated to a trip to Jump Street in Murfreesboro on Friday night.
Charlotte Huff of Cornerstone Baptist Church was an active volunteer throughout the week. Her son, Eddie Ware, was one of the original McPow organizers.
“These kids have really done a lot of work this week,” said Huff. “It was really a mess here at the Senior Center and they have done a great job of raking it and cleaning it up.”
Huff said Eddie has spent the past five years on an Indian reservation in Arizona. His most recent project has been building a sanctuary there. She says he’s scheduled to return to Warren County in the coming weeks.