Northern Va. teens use summer break to make volunteer repairs

WASHINGTON — More than 850 teenagers from Northern Virginia are getting down to work this week, nailing, sawing and making a difference in thousands of people’s lives.

The teenagers — in work crews of five, plus an adult leader and a contractor — are fanning out across counties including Stafford, King George, Caroline and Spotsylvania to make critical improvements to the homes of the needy.

“They’ll be doing all the repairs … everything from wheelchair ramps, to replacing roofs … our entire vision is to make a home warmer, safer, drier,” said Kevin Bohli, director of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington’s Teen Work Camp, which is in its 28th year.

More than 100 projects are on the week’s work list, which also includes repairs to homeless shelters.

Bohli says the teenagers expect to change the lives of others, but they find their own lives changed as well.

“It’s through service, when we finally aren’t thinking about ourselves and we’re thinking about others. That brings us a greater joy than we could ever imagine,” Bohli said.

The teenagers end each work day with an evening reflecting on their experiences with talk and music.

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Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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