Donating time and labor, with RV in tow
Two Holston agencies - Hiwassee College and Holston Home for Children - are benefiting from the mission work of traveling volunteer groups that call themselves NOMADS.
Short for "Nomads on a Mission Active in Divine Service," NOMADS are a volunteer arm of the United Methodist Church whose members are retirees owning recreational vehicles. They move from one work project to another, selecting three-week projects they want to work on. Some choose only one; others work on many projects.
Fewer than half of all NOMADS are Methodists, according to Homer Marcum, director of communications for Holston United Methodist Home for Children. The organization is open to anyone willing to perform mission work who can show up at a site with their own housing in tow.
At Holston Home in Greeneville, Tenn., a NOMADS group has been helping to restore the old Superintendent's Home, built in 1929. Six husband-and-wife teams moved their recreational vehicles to the Holston Home campground on Sunday, April 17, before beginning work on April 18. They will volunteer more than 1,000 hours of hard labor as they continue the project that began last fall before completing their assignment on May 5.
"The group currently working at Holston Home calls Illinois, Mississippi, Florida, Michigan, and Tennessee home when they aren't on the road, which is most of the year," Marcum said.
The NOMADS are tearing the interior of the Superintendent's Home down to its bare walls and floors, and another group will return this fall to begin the work of rebuilding the building to its original condition. Formerly used as the superintendent's residence, the building is now used as an office building, Marcum said.
Based in Madisonville, Tenn., Hiwassee College received recent visits from two groups of NOMADS last month, according to Kristi Cain, director of church and public relations. Volunteers did repairs and projects in and around Barker Learning Center, Rymer Student Center, Laycock Alumni Center, and several other sites.
"Hiwassee would like to offer a special thanks to all the NOMADS who donated their time and effort for improvements that would have otherwise cost the college several thousand dollars," Cain said.
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