Categorized | Community, News

Hundreds of teens descend on Memphis & Millington for improvement projects

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Merge work 1 Merge work 2 Merge work 3A break from the Mid-South heat was needed for many of the Merge Youth Camp volunteers last Wednesday.
The summer camp participant were busy moving desk, tables and other materials out of the Millington Central High School Freshman Academy to get it ready for painting. The Freshman Academy was just one of the locations across the Memphis area more than 800 teenagers focused on during Merge week at Millington First Baptist Church.
Merge was able to send hundreds of children to Memphis to volunteer at nursing homes and clean selected areas. Here in Millington, there were more than 300 teenagers working at City Hall, the Millington Fire Department next door, the Millington Farmer’s Market and on the grounds of Millington Municipal Schools MCHS, E.A. Harrold and Millington Elementary.
“Our Millington First Baptist kids are here, at Harrold, at both elementary schools, the Civic Center,” Merge Adult Volunteer Chris Denson said. “We have a group at the nursing home.
“These kids volunteered their time,” he added. “So we hope to have all these cleared so we have it painted and ready for next year. We want it ready for school occupancy so young kids can come in and learn. The school had the new roof put on it. It’s all tarred and fixed. Now we’re helping to get the inside done.”
The new roof was recently completed at the Freshman Academy. That cleared the way for the Merge volunteers to come in and move 1,200 desk, table of chairs. Millington School Board Chairman Don Holsinger estimated the work done by the children was 1,500 man-hours of contracted labor. The work done was equal to about $45,000.
Denson and his crew of volunteered bared the 100-degree temperatures to store the desk, chairs and tables in the Life Science Building on campus.
When all the volunteers of the Merge Youth Camp were done with their three days of work ranging from Memphis to the Millington Municipal Schools offices, the children from all parts of the United States met at the host site of Millington First Baptist Church.
First Baptist hosted the children and adult volunteers all of last week with meals and spiritual speeches.
Denson said he hopes the time at First Baptist and the work sites have a lasting impact on each child.
“God is more than just talk,” he said. “He’s action. The second part of this things is, many of the kids go to school here or graduated. I have a group of kids who are coming back. This will mean something to them.
“They’re putting their sweat and blood into this,” Denson concluded. “And from a spiritual perspective, it is a little bit easier to get into the Word of Christ when you say we were with the church when we were doing this. ‘What was your church doing?’ ‘We were volunteering our time. That’s what Jesus told us to do.’ I think our young people can use this in a couple of months.”

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July 2015
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