SALTVILLE, Va. - Take a couple of grants from groups dedicated to healthy kids, add a committed community and an army of volunteers, and in a day's time Saltville will have a new playground along their Salt Trail.
When the call went out for volunteers to help build a new playground in a day, organizers had no idea just how many folks were willing to come forward. "We actually had a 160 registered this morning that are here on site. So currently there are 160 people here this morning. It surpassed our expectations. We were looking for 150, thinking we might get 80 to 100," Angie Sproles with United Way Virginia Highlands says.
And what's also surprising is the number of young people that have stepped up to help on this massive building project. "They have come from all over the place. We have a group here that was involved with a mission project, they finished their mission project early and decided to come here and pitch in. There's a group of volunteers from Pennsylvania as well, there's a group from Connecticut that have come down," she said.
"We're definitely the outsiders of the group. It's appreciated the same. Simple help, just the little things," Connecticut volunteer Chris Mazza said.
"In our group total there are 17 kids counting us three, so 14 upcoming juniors then us three that will be seniors in the fall," Andy Spangenberg another volunteer from Connecticut said.
The kids from Connecticut have helped our region before; they're part of the Neighbor-to-Neighbor program that stepped in to help during our tornadoes several years ago. But like so many young folks these days service is part of their makeup. "Part of our school is we have to do, we are required to do community service. So throughout our school this is a major part of it and just glad to come down here and each time we've come we've had a great experience," Connecticut volunteer Tim Noone explained.
This is just one part of the overall project with more to come, all centered around kids getting out and getting active, and most importantly, staying healthy.
- UPDATE: 29-year-old miner suffers several broken bones in Buchanan County
- Dozens of vendors showcase businesses at Home and Garden Show in Johnson City
- Volunteer regional crews assisting in search for Matt Ragan on South Holston Lake
- ‘Polar Plunge for Christ' raises money to prevent teen suicide
- MSHA, Wellmont address merger application delays, what's next