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A massive flood one year ago destroyed homes and killed 6 people in White Sulphur Springs, WV. The community has found hope in the construction of a new neighborhood on higher ground called Hope Village and the opening of the Brad Paisley Park on the riverbank site of the disaster. CYF United, a high school youth group from the Mantua area, sent 23 people to aid in these efforts June 18-24, 2017. The youth worked on three homes in the Hope Village neighborhood raising walls, building roofs and porches. They also prepared the Brad Paisley Park for dedication by installing sod and preparing the visitor center for opening. The one year anniversary was marked by a celebration of life and rebirth, giving CYF United the opportunity to help serve a picnic meal to more than 600 people.
These annual mission trips have been the highlight for the CYF United youth for more than ten years with week long service trips to locations such as Louisianna, Tennesee and Illionois. Their work has helped areas affected by natural disasters or poverty. The group is supported by three Disciples of Christ Churches, Hilltop, Hiram and Mantua Center. Throughout the year, youth raise funds, study the area and learn the skills needed for the upcoming trip. Describing the hard work they do, "it's not a burden for us", says Ellie Schabel, a youth participating in her fourth mission trip this year. "It's an awesome community" she explains, reflecting on the privilege of serving the families and this community in West Virginia.