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The United Methodist Action Reach-Out Mission by Youth (UM ARMY) is returning to Jacksonville July 11-15 and is currently seeking volunteer opportunities.

The UM ARMY is a leadership camp that helps middle school and high school students foster their passion for God and his people. It is the mission of UM ARMY to provide Christ-centered, quality youth mission camps that serve people in need and promote spiritual growth and leadership development in youth.

The group arriving in Jacksonville July 11 is from Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Cypress and has, to date, 28 adult and 40 student volunteers ready to serve. They are seeking homeowners in need of home maintenance assistance. The work these volunteers can perform include painting, yard work, replacing screen doors and windows, weatherizing, installing wheelchair ramps and decks, simple roof repairs and other general household repairs. Labor and materials are provided at no cost to the homeowner.

Groups from Cypress have previously been to Jacksonville and continue to return die to the welcoming nature of the city and the hospitality of First United Methodist Church which hosts the group, according to Heather Turquette, Student Ministry Director.

“For personal reasons, our church likes to leave our home town for a more well-rounded mission experience of leaving town and doing restoration work and relationship building with people outside of our normal sphere of influence,” Turquette said.

The work crews usually consist of two adults and four students.

“There is another level of leadership that oversees multiple sites and has a lot of construction experience,” Turquette noted.

Last year, the UM ARMY performed only local day projects due to COVID, according to Turquette.

“There is renewed excitement over life getting closer to back to ‘normal’ and the ability to do camps and mission work again,” Turquette said. “The students of Good Shepherd and the adult and college-aged volunteers are very excited about heading to Jacksonville. The last year we were in Jacksonville was in 2014 and we have a few returning adult volunteers coming to camp with us this year who were actually students at that camp!”

Homeowners in Jacksonville or the close surrounding area who are interested in allowing these volunteers to perform basic maintenance or simple improvements to their property should contact UM ARMY at Make certain to include a name, phone number, address and description of work to be completed.

There is no deadline to submit a request, but the earlier a request is received, the more likely a project will be added to the jobs list.

The church staff will be in contact with those who submit requests. The site team will be meeting with homeowners about potential projects to assess the needs and work to be done. The first site visits will occur June 18.

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