The 2013 Impact Yadkin has come to a close, but the effects are being seen and felt all around the county and surrounding area.
The-week long outreach ministry has helped at 75 work sites, created lasting memories for those involved and, according to officials with the program, at least 10 people were saved during the biannual event.
Impact Yadkin brings together skilled construction workers, volunteers and students to help witness to local residents about the Gospel while working on houses in need of repair. Thousands of Yadkin residents - as many as 32 churches and 600 volunteers - participated in the event between the June 8 start and the June 15 departure on Saturday morning.
Volunteers checked in early June 8 at Forbush High School, the hub of the Impact effort. The gym was fitted with a special stage beforehand which served as a makeshift auditorium where worship services and meetings were held. Services were held nightly following the work days.
Volunteers were able to stay overnight in the middle and high school buildings, with hallways designated for men and women.
Each day started with breakfast and a 7:15 departure for the different work sites. A total of 75 sites were chosen via applications filled out prior to the start of the event. Some crews were assigned one project house, while others had two.
The two house jobs were selected for their ease of completion, meaning the crews spent one half of the week at each site.
Each work site selected a name for themselves, such as “Ramplified” for a ramp project on the back of Burnice Galyean’s house along Forbush Road, or “Raise the Roofers” at Gay Cave’s Boonville home.
Each crew of 10 to 12 was assigned a crew chief, an encourager, a devotion leader, a water supplier, a safety inspector, an evangelism leader and a medic, in addition to additional volunteers. Volunteers were split up into groups with different churches. The experience allowed students to meet other believers from around the county.
Someone from the volunteer’s original group was always included in the group to give them a familiar face, though.
The crew chief was chosen, either man or woman, for his or her experience with tools and construction sites. Each had to fill out an application and was chosen to lead the team at each site.
An encourager, usually female but possibly a man, was selected as a go-between from the crew chief and the volunteers. Due to the looming deadlines the chiefs were required to keep everyone on task and busy. The encouragers were assigned to help make sure everyone felt upbeat and stayed positive during the hot and muggy work days.
At night the encouragers also placed positive notes in each of the volunteer’s mailboxes back at the school.
The devotion leader led each morning and lunchtime devotion, with volunteers taking the two times to refocus on the Christian meaning behind what they were doing. The water supplier, well, supplied water - a very important job considering several of the days worked topped out above 90 degrees.
The safety inspector made sure the volunteers, rising seventh graders and above, handled the tools and responsibilities given safely. Volunteers were covered under insurance and allowed to use power tools under supervision.
The medic was in charge of the first aid kid, restocking every time an item was used just in case. Even something as simple as a bandage was instantly replaced to prevent a later shortage.
The evangelism leader took several volunteers and visited homes around the actual job site. Groups witnessed to many Yadkin residents and spread the Gospel while the physical labor took place back at the main home.
Volunteers did more than just volunteer their time and effort. Each person involved paid $200 to join. The money was collected and used to purchase the building materials for the various projects.
Construction equipment like bulldozers were either borrowed or provided by volunteers with access.
Construction sites and the whole Impact Yadkin ministry was hit Thursday by the freak, brief storm that blew threw the area. Job sites were relatively unaffected but the school lost power and was uncertain whether to send volunteers home or stay there.
Meals were difficult to provide to so many volunteers with no power. Officials ultimately decided that if power did not return by 11:30 p.m. they would let volunteers go home instead. Some chose to wait it out but those who went home for the night largely found their own power out.
Ten minutes after the decision deadline power came back on. The next morning required a later starting time to accommodate the power outages.
Some of the sites were able to finish before the Friday deadline but many kept working after the storm.
One site was the “Ramplified” team at Burnice Gaylean’s house along Forbush Road. When asked what she thought about her first experience with Impact Gaylean told the Tribune “God sent me angels” to help her replace her two porches on the back of her home.
Gaylean’s porch took two hours to remove even with a bulldozer.
Elisabeth Dobbins of Boonville and a member of Pilot View Friends church in Yadkinville said the kids had worked well through the week’s weather.
Dobbins summed up the week by saying the group was doing the Lord’s work.
“We’re serving God by serving others,” she said. “That’s a good quote.”
Gay Cave of Boonville was another site that worked through heat and crazy North Carolina weather. Cave’s roof was in need of repair and Impact came out in force to replace it. “Raise the Roofers,” in addition to a group that finished early at Mt. Carmel, worked in temperatures as high as 96 degrees on the black roof to get the job done.
Cave happily posed for a picture in the Tribune to showcase her new roof.
Students made their way back to Forbush High as Friday wound down and celebrated their personal impacts on Yadkin with one final service in the gym. A wrap-up video of the week’s event was shown and then local churches departed.
Non-local churches stayed one final night then left early Saturday morning to rest and reflect on the moving experiences many of them had.
Some started reflecting immediately. Impact Yadkin’s Magnify Ministries webpage retweeted various comments that showed the results of the week’s outreach.
Brittney Casstevens tweeted, “Missing my crew and youth group this morning” on Saturday.
Patrick Anderson tweeted, “That was one of the best weeks of my life!”
Alex Torres tweeted “#impactyadkin is definitely the highlight of my summer and this whole year. Nothing gets better than that. #Blessed #thankful.”
Anna Reavis wrapped up the week by tweeting “I already miss it. However, I do not miss sleeping somewhere other than my own bed.”
The first Impact Yadkin was held in 2011 and had 400 volunteers across 55 work sites. The 2013 campaign totalled 600 volunteers and 75 sites.
To contact Taylor Pardue call 336-835-1513 ext. 15, or email him at email@example.com.