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High school students from all over Virginia are visiting and working in our community this week. The students, toiling alongside volunteer professionals, help seniors in need as part of a program called Work Camp that is organized by the Diocese of Richmond.

Nearly 180 volunteers are spending Monday through Thursday performing home improvement projects for families – mostly seniors – who were identified through social services. The twenty-or-so projects around the county range from building wheel chair ramps, to painting projects, to knocking-down home walls.

I am proud to say that my very dear friend who works in adult protective services was instrumental in bringing the Work Camp volunteers to our small community – our county is the smallest in the entire state of Virginia. Last weekend, when she mentioned they were looking for some peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich makers, it was a no-brainer.


Ever make 180+ PB&J sandwiches with plastic-baggie covered hands? Let me tell you… it is a peanut buttery mess! In fact, we made such a sticky goo, that I did not dare risk taking photos with my iPhone!

Regardless, earlier this week, my teen-aged son and I joined my friend and another high school student and we put  together modest, bagged meals for volunteers who have been camping in the middle school all week. We spread peanut butter and jelly on loaf after loaf of soft bread, we bagged sandwiches, and we  “loaded” little brown bags with “one sandwich, one piece of fruit, one bag of cookies, one bag of chips, and one napkin.” Not much for our volunteers to eat during a long, full, day of hard labor… and I understand it was to be the same meal for them each day all week. And then, the volunteers got to sleep each night in the middle school (after their timed showers)!


My hat is off to these wonderful kids and adult volunteers who took a week out of their precious summer helping out strangers in a faraway community. These super stars deserve far more than the simple bagged PB&J meals they were served…

Hopefully, after returning home, each volunteer will enjoy a meal fit for a king or queen. I’m sure the grateful folks they’ve helped this week would approve.

All photos taken with an iPhone 4. © 2012 EddinsImages