Hurlburt Chapel members give back during annual mission trip

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. John Bainter
  • 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
Members of the Hurlburt Field Chapel community, the Special Operations Youth and the Holy Spirit Catholic youth groups took time to reach out, make repairs and help improve facilities on base and in the local community during their annual mission trip last month.

The chapel began doing the missions in 2003 as a way to give back to the local community, Hurlburt Field, and even traveling to communities in need as far away as Puerto Rico. The trips consist of the participants doing tasks from painting and repairing buildings, to removing yard debris, building structures and a wide array of other good deeds.

Every odd year the mission trip takes place in the local area, while on the even years the trip goes outside the immediate area to offer the same volunteer services.

This year they worked at the main child development center, youth Center, library, community Center and the Chapel on base. Locations in the local community included Opportunity Place, Emerald Coast Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and at the home of an Air Force widow.

Volunteers served 4,242 hours, saving the community an estimated $42,000 in labor. They provided more than $8,000 in supplies and other expenses for the base and surrounding areas.

"This particular year, because of sequestration and declining budgets, our impact to improving facilities on base was much greater," said Gregory Copeland, Protestant youth ministry director.

The volunteers raised more than $10,000 to offset their trip. More than 100 volunteers, both young and old, dedicated their time to improving facilities which impact thousands of people on base and several hundred in surrounding communities, according to Copeland.

"It makes me feel great knowing that I can help out in the community, it's a really nice feeling helping other people" said Teren Credle, one of the mission trip volunteers and SOY member.

Annual mission trips continue through the efforts of the Hurlburt Field chapel community, and the donations of others. Working with the local populace continues to teach the lesson of working to help others and promote good citizenship amongst the chapel youth. Also, through the continued dedication of the adult volunteers who support, supervise and work towards the common goal of giving back.