RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- New and returning high-school teens and adults interested in participating in the 2016 Appalachia Service Project should plan to attend one of two upcoming kick-off rallies at Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church. The first is Thursday, March 3.
The ASP is a national Christian volunteer organization that sends volunteers on weeklong mission trips to make homes "warmer, safer and drier" in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina. Jesse Lee ASP is open to anyone who will have completed their freshman year of high school by the time of the summer mission trip.
Adults are also encouraged to volunteer -- both those who have teens coming along and those who don't. Participants don't have to be a member of Jesse Lee or any church, nor be a Ridgefield resident, nor be an expert with a hammer to volunteer. Basic construction skills and safety rules are taught prior to going on the trip.
This is Jesse Lee ASP's 33rd year. "Last summer, a record-number 183 local students and adults worked to restore the homes (and hope) of folks in three counties in northeastern Tennessee," a news release noted.
The second rally is Tuesday, March 8. You only need to attend one. The events will provide details about participating in this year's trip, set for July 2-10. Parents of new youth can attend and get their questions answered in separate informational sessions on March 3 and 8.
You don’t have to pre-register to attend a rally, and you're not obligated to go on the mission trip by attending. However, youth and adults who intend to participate are encouraged to fill out and bring forms available now on the website. At the rallies, sign-up sheets will be available for the required training sessions and fundraising car washes this spring.
The cost to participate in the ASP is $245 if paid by April 12, $265 after.
Both rallies will be held at the church, at 207 Main St. Both are from 6:30-9 p.m. in Martin Hall, in the lower level of the church's main sanctuary building.
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