Friday, July 18, 2003

Some good news

Volunteers lend hand for repairs

Betty Ingram of Mount Healthy doesn't get around her home very easily anymore.

But volunteers arriving Saturday in Cincinnati are hoping to change that.

Ingram, 69, is one of 22 homeowners in Greater Cincinnati who will be getting help from 265 teens in the World Changers program to make improvements to their homes.

She'll be receiving a wheelchair ramp on her home, which has eight steps to the front door.

"It's a nice program for someone who can't get around," Ingram said. "I really appreciate what they're doing for me. Last year, some of the girls had me in tears when they left."

Last year, teens from the program painted her house.

The teens, from all over the country, will stay at Lockland High School until July 26 and will work on homes in Mount Healthy, Lockland and Loveland, said Dennis Holmes, the local coordinator and a missionary with the Baptist Association of Greater Cincinnati.

World Changers is a project of the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

More than 23,000 students, middle school through college, will participate in 89 locations this year as part of World Changers.

"It's a real partnership between churches, schools and communities," Holmes said. "It's showing God's love in action. That's what they're doing it for. That's what motivates them."

The students will actually pay on average $245 to do the work, helping pay for their food and other lodging needs. More than 20 churches will provide lunch for the students at the home improvement sites, Holmes said.

For Doris Ferguson of Loveland, 72, the World Changers program has allowed her to make a much-needed home improvements on her tight budget.

She's lived in the same home for 30 years and can't afford to repair the siding.

"When you're on a low income, you just can't do a lot," Ferguson said. "Usually, people don't want to do something for free. When you can get help, it's great."

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Northern Kentucky children at the Boys and Girls Club in Covington will have greater exposure to technology thanks to a $100,000 grant from Delta Air Lines.

The Marge Schott-Unnewehr Center dedicated the Delta Learning Center on Wednesday, opening a lab with computers; enhanced software; and a SmartBoard, a tool used to teach with computers.

The learning center will assist with the club's Power Hour tutorial program. In the program, more than 80 percent of the participants in the tutorial had improved reading and math skills.

The Boys and Girls Club serves 7,000 children ages 5 to 18 in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Only the Covington club has the enhanced software and Smart Board.

"Our whole objective is to really work with children both with homework assistance and in one-on-one tutorials to contribute to their academic success," said Lawra Baumann, president of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati.

Allen Howard is on vacation. Karen Vance will write "Some Good News" until he returns. E-mail

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