Teens show “Heart” at local workcamp

Deidre Cruse

Teens from Washington, Illinois and Minnesota came to Plaquemine last Thursday to participate in a weeklong Catholic Heart Workcamp.

“Their week of service reaches out to help those in need,” said the Florida-based organization founded in 1993.

“The teens have been housed and sleeping on the floor of St. John School at night. By day, they worked at local homes on painting, general repair, cleaning and yard projects. They also assisted at the Salvation Army and at Our Brother’s Keeper, the two local thrift shops for the needy.

The Plaquemine camp was managed by Lora Brown, a member of the community, and Leah Bertke, a former St. John School teacher. The Iberville Council on Aging, Catholic Daughters and local churches were partners in the program.

“The goal [of] a HEART Workcamp is two-fold,” the organization said. “It gives teens a chance to serve and give back to the community, and also the opportunity to live out their faith.”

Since its founding 10 years ago with 100 campers under the direction of Steve and Lisa Walker, the program has grown to include 9,000 campers in 38 cities across the country, as well as Jamaica and Mexico.