Teens spend summer helping people in other states

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A group of young Baptists just arrived in Salt Lake, and it hopes to change the world ... literally.

The group is called World Changers, and it's spending its summer helping people from other states.

Leah Groteluschen is 16 years old, from Wyoming, and she paid about $300 to be here. She's putting a new roof on a home in Salt Lake.

She said, "It's hot now and dirty, my hands are dirty."

Leah is a volunteer with World Changers, an organization of the Southern Baptist Convention. Every year children from different youth groups volunteer to help communities in other states.

World Changers member Angela Abbamonte said, "A lot of these kids are from Oregon, Wyoming, Washington."

There are 19 crews spread throughout Salt Lake, and South Salt Lake; many of them repairing roofs.

A project homeowner Maria Kempton could never have been able to afford.

"It's a big blessing, you know? It's overwhelming," she said.

**What is World Changers?**![](http://media.bonnint.net/slc/1256/125624/12562418.jpg)
World Changers is a Southern Baptist entity, which provides service opportunities for youth and adults. The work crews typically spend a week, at their own expense, repairing damaged or dilapidated homes across the country and abroad.
Maria doesn't have to pay for a thing. The city pays for the materials, and the volunteers do the labor.

And since this is a church group, the kids even break for mini devotionals and scripture reading to remind them why they're helping strangers for free, in 90 degree heat!

Leah said, "We were made to serve from God, God wants us to serve. I'm serving for God, serving these people."

Volunteers with World Changers will be out all week fixing up houses and making new friends.

Leah said, "It's really cool cause the neighbors come over, and they're so excited about what we're doing, and they are so happy that we get to help them out."

That's Leah's favorite part, meeting new people. And she's not done yet. She's signed up for another week of service in another state, just like many of the other kids.

Angela said, "Honestly, the kids love this."

The kids don't even stay at a hotel. They'll spend the week sleeping on cots at Granite Park Junior High. They do get half a day off on Wednesday to explore the city.

E-mail: abutterfield@ksl.com

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