* If you/your student previously attended a trip
Learn about rural Appalachia by completing small repair projects and relational ministry with youth and elderly populations.
The small town of Logan, West Virginia is surrounded by the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. This rustic, wilderness setting is inviting, as is the hospitality of the Appalachian people. Families here have deep roots in this community, and many have coal mining as a prominent part of their family story and livelihood. However, just as the mountains here provide beauty and a means by which to live, they also create isolated communities. The rural, self-contained nature of communities like Logan creates significant economic challenges.
Logan is a mining community in Central Appalachia, the county seat of Logan county, and a hub for Southern West Virginia. At its peak, Logan was one of the richest cities of its size in America. The "billion-dollar coalfields" produced a sizable downtown area, adequate infrastructure for the region, and a vibrant local economy. Logan embodied hard work, spiritual roots, and a family first mentality; the future was bright for the coal town. The "black gold" that once promised wealth for the area has dwindled; over the last half century as cheaper natural resources and renewable resources have become more available. Consequently, Logan has lost roughly 50% of its population as people move for jobs or further education despite deep connections to the mountains. Many who remain are wrestling with a complex web of social issues – high disability and drug abuse rates related to mining injuries, non-traditional family structures that often include grandparents raising grandchildren, lack of quality housing due to neglected infrastructure, high teen pregnancy rates, and small town political groups that often can’t seem to cooperate. YouthWorks alone cannot solve each of these problems, but we can come alongside families in the community as they raise their kids and live peacefully. Our summer ministries are threefold: Kids Club, the Energy Express kids program, and Work Projects. Through each of these avenues, we can provide a safe, healthy place for kids to spend their summer, engage in educational and nutritional enrichment, and improve families’ quality of living through minor home repair.