Frequently Asked Questions
What is Project: RAKE?
Project: RAKE is the home repair outreach of the Ground Zero Youth Ministry based in New London, PA. We are committed to involving young people in free volunteer home repair services to in-need families who live in Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania. We have work days, weekends and retreats where teenagers in our community partner with trained adults to give of their time and energy to help those in need.
How did Project: RAKE Get Started?
For several years, we have taken our students on mission trips to North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and the city of Pittsburgh. On one of these trips, one of our students asked us why we had to go so far away to minister to low income and in-need families when we could be doing something so close to home. We felt God calling us to birth this new ministry. Before Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shooting, was killed, she wrote something very powerful in a school paper. “If everyone would perform just one random act of compassion, we could change the world.” God used that quote to lead us to the name "Project: R.A.K.E." (Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere).
What kind of work does Project RAKE do?
Our work teams are not professional contractors. Most of our team members are young adult and high school age but there is at least one adult leader with each team of teenagers. We aim to do quality work that is a service to our homeowners. Our teams do most home repair projects, including painting, roofing, carpentry, dry walling, and some plumbing and masonry. We strive to tackle every project we undertake with the highest levels of excellence.
Who supervises the work?
Our teams of students are supervised by volunteer adult leaders, several of whom are contractors by trade or have training in various construction skills. All of the leaders enjoy helping young people learn to serve their community and grow in their spiritual lives.
Do the teenagers get paid?
No, they don’t. All the student and adult leaders volunteer their time and efforts. In fact, team members actually pay to come to Project: R.A.K.E. weekends and retreats to help pay for their meals, lodging and some materials.
Can the homeowners give something back to the program?
It’s always great if homeowners spend time talking with the young people who are working hard. If homeowners can provide ice water and a kind smile, those are excellent gifts as well! Thank you cards and letters of recommendation are also appreciated.
Who is eligible? How can I apply?
Eligible applicants live in and own their homes within Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania. After a brief telephone interview, our construction coordinator and a staff member will visit you to speak with you about the work you need done. During this time, we’ll fill out all the necessary paperwork including the application and required waivers. We will take your picture along with some pictures of the work that needs to be done. Once your application has been approved, we will call you to let you know when we will begin working on your home. Each year we work on 40 to 60 houses, which means there may be a short waiting list of interested homeowners. We make every attempt to help all those who are eligible.
Where do materials come from?
The materials that we use are donated by businesses, and purchased through the financial gifts of private donors. Please visit our Corporate Sponsors page to find out how you or your company can support this ministry with your tax deductible assistance.
How can I help??
There are four ways that you can make a difference in our community:
- Tell us who needs help. If you know someone who would benefit from Project: R.A.K.E.'s assistance, contact us with their information or encourage them to call us directly.
- Give financially. Businesses are invited to partner with us by donating supplies & materials, offering discounts and/or financial contributions. Private donations of checks & gift cards are greatly appreciated and help us purchase the needed materials that are not donated. Give now.
- Pray for this ministry. We need people to keep us in their prayers 24/7. Pray for us to find favor with local businesses & private donors. Pray for our past, present & future homeowners, that God would reveal Himself to them, pour out His blessing on their lives, and meet their needs, physically, emotionally & spiritually.
- Donate your time. If you would like to help on a crew, run materials, take photos, or prepare meals during a RAKE work camp, contact our office or download a volunteer application.