Students give back in a big way

In recent years our local schools have begun to put greater focus on community service opportunities for students, often encouraging the students to find ways to give back as part of class work and extracurricular activities.

For the last 18 years, though, students at Weirton Madonna High School have taken that idea to another level, not just volunteering with local efforts, but taking that spirit of giving to communities in other parts of West Virginia.

On Tuesday, 19 students and eight chaperones returned from the latest trip as part of Lend A Hand for Appalachia, a service program created by Madonna alumni which spends close to a week once a year traveling into southern West Virginia to help the less fortunate.

Much of the work is focused on trying to provide a better, healthier living environment for the less fortunate. This year, for example, the group worked on four homes performing roof repairs, insulation work, ventilation and deck repairs, and even laying a new foundation to assist one family.

These are long days of difficult work away from families and friends, but as the students themselves have said, knowing their work has an impact on the lives of others makes it worth it.

We applaud all those who have been a part of the Lend A Hand program and hope it continues for many years to come.