Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

July 6, 2014

Returning Southern hospitality

-- — Today, an estimated 116 youth and adult volunteers will be working throughout designated areas of Valdosta, helping make life better for our residents.

They are part of the Southern Hospitality Workshop. This summer is the ninth year that Valdosta has hosted these volunteers. Arriving Sunday, they will now through Saturday perform basic home repairs, painting and minor construction, at no cost to local elderly or disabled homeowners.

Through the years, this effort has repaired 282 area homes with deficiencies and represents a nearly $2 million economic investment in the Valdosta area via capital improvements to housing stock, the value of volunteer housing, their spending in the community and the value of their labor.

They work on houses pre-selected by the City of Valdosta Neighborhood Development Division. These houses are selected on criteria such as homes must be owner occupied, in need of minor repairs and must be located within one of the city’s designated revitalization areas.

To top it off, these volunteers pay $400 each for the opportunity to spend their summer vacations working to improve the quality of life for Valdosta residents. During the visit, they also collect canned goods for the area food bank.

These volunteers express a vital form of hospitality. They sacrifice to better the lives of strangers. During their visit, we should all do our best to extend our Southern hospitality to these volunteers and thank them for their endeavors.

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