Work Camp: Worthy project may inspire others

If is it true that Wood County Commissioner Blair Couch has heard grumblings in the past from painting businesses that believe the Mid-Ohio Valley Work Camp is somehow siphoning away their business, Couch was right to offer them a little education on the mission of the Work Camp … and that a rising tide lifts all boats.

Anyone familiar with the phenomenon of cleaning part of their house, only to realize that doing so made adjacent parts of the house look suddenly dirty … and eventually the entire house ends up clean, can understand what Couch was suggesting when he explained that once a home is a neighborhood has been repainted, it may prompt others with perhaps more means to do so to seek our professional painters to make their own home look just as nice.

“These are people who would typically not be able to afford to paint their homes,” Couch said. “It is not as if these homes have gotten in this condition overnight,” he said. “They have been in this condition over a number of years.”

Mid-Ohio Valley Work Camp brings hundreds of kids from across Appalachia each summer to paint homes in Wood and Washington counties that might not otherwise get the maintenance they need. So far the group has painted 625 homes, and this summer (their 21st) they plan to tackle another 25. Commissioners approved $10,000 earlier this week to help them.

Director Ryan Ice and his crew are to be commended for what they do — boosting not only the occupants of the homes they paint, but providing inspiration for entire neighborhoods.