World Changers at work in Anniston, Oxford
by Paige Rentz
prentz@annistonstar.com
Jul 15, 2013 | 3963 views |  0 comments | 63 63 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Luke Hertzler scrapes paint off the side of a house during the remodeling process. The World Changers group work on a few houses on W 18th Street in Anniston. Photo by Courtney Davies
Luke Hertzler scrapes paint off the side of a house during the remodeling process. The World Changers group work on a few houses on W 18th Street in Anniston. Photo by Courtney Davies
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Thirteen-year-old Paige Eagle spent her day scraping the paint off a stranger’s house.

One arm white with primer, she stood in the hot sun outside of Rayburn Price’s West 18th Street home this afternoon, taking a break from her volunteer work at the site.

Eagle is one of 131 students sent by World Changers, a mission program of the Southern Baptist Convention, to work on projects in Calhoun County this week.

“I really like to do missions work; I believe it’s my calling,” she said.

Hosted locally by the Calhoun Baptist Association and housed at Greenbrier Baptist Church, the students from six states are split up into 13 crews. They’ve been making minor repairs to homes in Anniston and Oxford as well as running Backyard Bible Clubs in the area.

Eagle’s crew is working at the 18th Street home of Rayburn Price, where his parents lived for decades and ran a plumbing business for about 50 years.

Price has been living in his childhood home since 2005, and said he needed some help with the repairs, which include replacing exterior wood and painting three buildings — two residences and the old plumbing shop — that still sit on the property.

“I think it’s neat,” he said of the crew of students as they cheered around the corner of the home. “They’re all having a good time.”

Louise Shawshak hurt her back last winter and has a hard time getting out. This week, a crew of World Changers will help make repairs on her Emory Place home in the Golden Springs area of Anniston.

“I’m telling you I don’t know what I’d do without them,” she said today.

This afternoon, she said the crew working at her home had already finished painting half her house and had offered her lunch to boot.

“They’re just as nice as they can be...they’re just wonderful children,” she said.

According to information provided by Lauren Jones, local media relations contact for World Changers, both the Calhoun Baptist Association and Renovation Ministries provide funding for the projects.

Supplies for the four homes in Anniston, according to City Manager Don Hoyt, are being funded through $12,000 from the federal Community Development Block Grant program. Homeowners had to apply with the city to ensure they met requirements from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for assistance with minor repairs.

The 131 students in Calhoun County this week are among more than 16,500 students working in more than 60 cities across North America. This year’s World Changers group will be the 14th to take on projects in Calhoun County. On average, according to Jones, the students pay about $250 each to cover registration and travel expenses to conduct their volunteer work.

Adam Carter, a 16-year-old from Conway, S.C., is working in Anniston on his second trip with World Changers.

Last year, the program took Carter to Canada, where he spent a week painting homes in Ottawa.

He said he enjoys the work. “I just like helping other people,” he added.

Staff writer Paige Rentz: 256-235-3564. On Twitter @PRentz_Star.

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