Students volunteer to help rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Matthew

Students volunteer to help rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Matthew

HORRY COUNTY, SC – Over 140 students from the organization "World Changers" are working to change the world one home at a time.

Volunteers have come from all over the East Coast to help rebuild the homes that were affected by flooding. The students are split up among 13 crews throughout the county.

One of the crews is replacing insulation and renovating the inside of the homes.

The goal of their mission trip isn't just to spread the ideas of their religion, but also to make a lasting difference on someone's life.

This team of students started off as complete strangers, but as the week goes on, their bond grows stronger.

"At the end of the week, you meet all these people, and you're like, 'Man, I wish I had another week,'" said Michael Johnson, a volunteer for World Changers.

The students meet the members of their crew just a day before the trip begins. Volunteers who start off as complete strangers at the beginning are nearly inseparable at the end.

"By the end of the week you don't want to leave because you see how much it makes an impact," said Lisa Roberts, missions and communications specialist.

The students pay anywhere from $200 to $300 to participate in the program.

Thomas Samaha lives right down the street from his crew's project. He said that although he wasn't affected by the flood, this still gives him the opportunity to help his neighbor.

"Wood will rot, paint will peel, insulation will go bad, but when you can make an eternal difference in someone's life, that's the biggest thing to me at the end of the week," said Samaha.

The takeaway for Samaha is a big part of what he does.

"You get the sense of accomplishment. You get to look at this room and say, 'Yeah, we did that," he said.

Roberts said that volunteering for World Changers is an emotional, but life-changing experience.

"When you come onto a mission trip and see how you are able to serve other people – I'm almost getting emotional talking about it – you see how much their lives are affected by what you can do," she said.

The crew will be packing up on Thursday after finishing their project. On Friday, the students will head to North Carolina, where they will begin a new project, and stay there for the rest of the summer.

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