Student Service Volunteers

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) -  There's a lot of construction going on in the Highland community this week, but the workers aren't who you'd expect.

A group of volunteers drove ten hours to help area families.  While most kids want to spend their summer lounging by the pool, nearly 300 students from Tennessee came to Columbus to help community members.

Highland Community Church Pastor Rob Strickland said, "It's humbling to watch so many people come down and want to bless this city for the name of the Lord."

"We've been scraping paint off houses, painting houses and then we have a backyard Bible study we do with the kids," said a student volunteer Mady Kate Gantt.

Zach Turner, another student volunteer, told Fox 54 his family goes on mission trips all the time, and this is his second time helping in Columbus. He explained, "From our church, we've got groups picking up yards and stuff and the girls are painting houses. We've had a group here since Wednesday getting houses ready that require more than a week's worth of work."

The student pastor from First Baptist Woodland Mills, Mark Hayes, says he was so happy to see nearly 300 kids join in on the project, "We're just trying to help the community and help the city. We take the burden and the stress off of them."

"Our church has taught our kids not to be self-centered and to go out and help others and help those who can't do a lot," said Tucker.

Hayes added, "It means a lot to me to see these kids grow and get along. Even though they might not like each other all the time, they'll get along to get the job done."

And Strickland said all the hard work is paying off because homeowners are certainly showing their appreciation, "They're overwhelmed with excitement and joy. Obviously they're excited to have their house worked on, but to see them keep it up is the greatest reaction we could have ever expected.">

If you would like more information on how you can donate your time or money to keep this project going, you can visit or

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