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Mountain Outreach Completes Semester Project


MO student-volunteers work carefully to construct the deck on the house for a family whose father/husband is serving the United States in Iraq.

Williamsburg, Ky. - On Saturday, October 8, 2011 University of the Cumberlands (UC) Mountain Outreach (MO) program completed their fall semester project by going out into the community and lending their help to a family in need.

That morning around 20 students participated in the fall semester project. They were up bright and early eating breakfast in the café before heading to their destination.


“These students are amazing, they get out of bed on a Saturday morning, before daylight, and went to someone’s home that they have never met and work very hard for no pay, for nothing more than a “Thank You.” They will have blisters, bruised fingers, cut hands and aching muscles and they will still be smiling and ready to do it again,” said UC Mountain Outreach Director Marc Hensley.

Mountain Outreach traveled out into the community to a local family’s home that was in need of assistance. The chosen household has three children living in it with their mother providing for them while the husband/father is serving with our military in Iraq.

When MO arrived on the scene, the students decided to build a 10x10 porch and steps to the front door. “It is a great feeling when we go out to build something for someone and just by being there, on that day, at that time, is just as beneficial to somebody as is the actual project,” said Hensley.

The students also helped dig a trench that had already been started for a footer for a concrete block wall to underpin the trailer and help insulate it. MO volunteers finished the trench by digging an additional 35 feet.

“It’s great to know that we can give back just a little to a family that is giving so much to our nation with their service,” exclaimed Hensley.

The students, along with the children of the household, played around together and just enjoyed the time being spent together. “We are obligated to keep watch over the families of our men and women who are serving our country while they are separated from each other,” said Hensley. “We have a duty to assist them in whatever we can including, just talking and being with them and letting them know that we know that these circumstances are tough on families.”

Mountain Outreach has been nationally recognized for its work several times: the Action Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty selected it as one of ten charities to receive the Samaritan Award; USA Today noted the program in its 1996 “Make a Difference Day” competition; and President George H. Bush honored Mountain Outreach as his 220th Daily Point of Light.

Mountain Outreach is a non-profit organization operated by University of the Cumberlands with students and volunteers building 138 homes and making repairs and renovations to hundreds more in the 27 years since the program’s inception.

Located in Williamsburg, KY, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; nine graduate degrees, including two doctorates, a specialist, and six master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.