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Youth come to Walterboro to help needy residents

Working youths are treated to Minute Maid ice treats after coming off the roof.

South Carolina Bank and Trust recently made a contribution to the Walterboro Salkehatchie Summer Service Program, which is organized by youth volunteers from around the state. The youths spend one week repairing and remodeling houses for people in need. The youths were working at Annie Doyle’s residence on Doyle Street in Walterboro Thursday, finishing up some roof repairs while the morning was young and the weather was cool. Students Hannah Barrick, Ashley Derreck, Jennifer Shearouse, Nathan Guditus, Jeremy Bouknight, David Payne, Kailey Addison, and Cody Ray, along with Female Site Leader and Assistant Camp Director Katie Shearous, Site Leader Robbie Banks, and Co-site Leader John Kent, are all from the Columbia area.

Local youth across the state are participating in the Salkehatchie Summer Service Program, an initiative to engage young teens and college students in community service work.  The program has its roots in South Carolina, beginning over a quarter of a century ago and, serves local citizens who have little income.

In today’s difficult economic environment, the help and aid offered by nearly 3,000 youth and adult volunteers statewide is welcomed by people who are unable to finance home repairs and reconstruction needs such as roofing, flooring, and exterior repairs.  This summer, the Salkehatchie Program personnel are sending out many local young people to repair homes for low-income families. These youth volunteers dedicate a week of their summer vacations to work inside and out in the sweltering lower-state heat in order to join in an experience that has proven to be life changing.

Last week, 40 campers and local volunteers traveled to the Walterboro Salkehatchie Camp to make repairs for residents who otherwise may not have safe and secure homes. This was the first-ever Walterboro Camp, and the youths and adult volunteers even took leave from work to join in the good will and hard work involved with the program. The Walterboro Camp worked on four homes in this initial year, repairing floors, bathrooms and roofs from June 23-30.

“We always like to open and close our residence work-sessions with a prayer, and we encourage the homeowners to join in,” said Banks. “We also landscape yards to make sure they look good. We just spruce things up. Jenny Shearouse added, “Our motto is Warmer, Safer, Drier.”

Because the program is youth-focused, teens and college students are enabled to complete various projects themselves, which develops character growth and a sense of accomplishment.  Adult volunteers serve primarily to supervise site safety and security.  When all is said and done, the volunteers leave the Salkehatchie Summer Service Program with a greater understanding of appreciation for their lives and a keen desire to return the next summer to do it all over again.

Salkehatchie Summer Service is a youth-based home repair ministry founded by the Reverend John Culp and the United Methodist Church in South Carolina over 30 years ago. Every year, almost 3000 youth and adults attend just over 45 one-week camps located in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. They spend the week improving the living conditions of home owners who don’t have the ability or resources to do basic repairs to their homes. In North Carolina, there are four camps, located in Huntersville, Shelby, Durham and Pfeiffer University.

Salkehatchie Summer Service has been a ministry of the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church for the past 28 years. It started as a single camp in 1977 and has grown to 40 weekly camps each working on anywhere from 4–20 homes. Over the last 27 years, several thousand homeowners have experienced first-hand God’s spirit working through Salkehatchie youth.

“SCBT is proud to announce that it has made a $500 contribution directly to the Walterboro Salkehatchie Camp,” said Cindy Hunt, SCBT Walterboro vice president and branch manager.  “One hundred percent of the funds go directly to purchase materials and necessities for the week’s work, which impacts the lives of the youth and adult volunteers as well as those who desperately need home repairs in and around the Walterboro area.” For further information concerning the program, contact Recerend Dwight Nelson at the New Life United Methodist Church on Green Pond Highway, 549-1254.

“Local volunteers, local churches, and businesses like SCBT play a very essential part in the success of these camps,” said Camp Director Bill Brown.  “This program is more than a community service week, it provides the opportunity of a lifetime for South Carolina’s youth by allowing them to serve Christ in a way that many youth and adults may not have had the chance to do. Donations like those made by SCBT provide the funding needed to encourage local youth to become responsible citizens, and the Salkehatchie Summer Service Program provides the appropriate setting for this valuable lesson.”


SCBT Financial Corporation, Columbia, South Carolina is a registered bank holding company incorporated under the laws of South Carolina.  The Company consists of SCBT, N.A., the largest publicity traded bank headquartered in South Carolina; NCBT, a division of SCBT, N.A., and Community Bank & Trust, a division of SCBT, N.A.  Providing financial services for over 78 years, SCBT Financial Corporation operates 76 locations in 19 South Carolina counties, 10 northeast Georgia counties, and Mecklenburg County in North Carolina.  SCBT Financial Corporation has assets of approximately $4.5 billion and its stock is traded under the symbol SCBT in the NASDAQ Global Select Market.  More information can be found at www.SCBTonline.com.