Starting this week and for four other weeks throughout the summer, North Carolina nonprofit group Carolina Cross Connection (CCC) will be building wheelchair ramps and completing other service projects for residents in and around Lincoln County. This year also marks the organization’s 25th year of service.
According to LeeAnn Mangum, one of the CCC’s five camp directors, campers ages 13-18 are set to take part in the projects, working on roughly 130 homes throughout the area at a pace of 32 homes per week. Campers sign-up for the summer work through their church youth groups.
In addition to building ramps and renovating yards, Mangum said campers will participate in painting and underpinning, building metal supports between trailers and the ground. Underpinning helps insulate trailers and prevents animals from crawling under the residences, she noted.
While this is Mangum’s first summer as a CCC camp director, she’s been on staff for three years and even served as a camper with her youth group during her younger years.
“I was a camper for five years,” she said, “and now, I’m a staff member because it made such a huge impact on my life.”
She welcomed the opportunity to use CCC to spread her Christian faith.
“It’s a chance for me to live out the Gospel in a real setting in my home state,” Mangum said.
She particularly pointed out the ministry assists people’s physical as well as emotional needs.
“We get to be Jesus to these people,” she said. “This is my heart.”
Campers typically have the same reaction, Mangum noted.
“They are blown away by how incredible the people are,” she said, “People we work for touch their (campers) lives a lot more than they thought. They think, ‘I came to give but I actually received.’”
Headquartered in Concord, CCC was founded in North Carolina in 1987. The organization currently has five camps throughout the state, including one camp base each in Cleveland, Wilkes, Caldwell, Stanly and Rutherford counties, according to an archived Times-News article.
In addition, CCC just started a homeless outreach program in Asheville.
For more information, visit carolinacrossconnection.org.