Over 800 teenagers have been participating in a work camp and have been working on 104 different projects throughout northern and central Virginia this summer. The Diocese of Arlington is sponsoring this camp.

“I didn’t even think we had people like this in the world anymore,” said Kevin Curtis. Curtis, 59, has been the beneficiary of the teenagers’ hard work. They’ve built him a deck extension and a ramp so he can get out of the house. Due to his disability, he has been unable to leave without being carried by two strong men for the past 15 years.

“It’s so wonderful to have somebody come to you and help you. I’ve never reached out for any kind of help in my life,” Curtis said.  He has multiple health issues stemming from a car accident he suffered in 2003. “I crushed every bone in my body, in my chest. Both collarbones were broken. All my ribs were broken. My back was broken. My leg was broken in several places.”

Contractors oversee all the teens’ projects but the teenagers do the majority of the work.

“We have to dig the holes first, put the posts in, then the concrete,” said Monica Castro. It is her third summer participating in the work camp. “All three years I’ve been building decks. So I’ve gotten pretty good at the whole ‘dig the holes, mix the concrete, pour the cement and let it set.’ And then the measurements that come afterwards.”

“I’m so excited! I’ve got a doctor’s appointment…that I won’t miss because I will be able to get out of the house,” said Curtis. He recalled that after he met the kids, he bent his head. “And I prayed. I asked God to bless them all, deeply and fully.”

The deck and ramp were completed in time for Curtis’s appointment.

 

 

 

Elizabeth is from southern West Virginia. She graduated with her Bachelor's from Franciscan University. She enjoys reading, hiking, dancing, and attempting to play the piano correctly. A writer since childhood, she hopes to help the world through her words.