Home Repairs Bring Hope

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For most Americans, it’s hard to imagine living without the basic necessities, like indoor plumbing. But a substantial number of our neighbors are living in poverty. That’s why The Cup of Cold Water project was created – to bring better housing, and hope, to deserving families. Reed Galin has more.       

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(Locator: Near Clinton, Tenn.)

This house has withstood a lot over the past 77 years.  Breathtaking views of the Appalachian Mountains can’t hide the fact that time and progress passed it by.  The Jackson family that lives here, like 1.7 million other Americans, had no indoor plumbing.

Jerry Lynn Jackson/Homeowner: “We were sitting here with no hope, no money, didn’t know what we were going to do to fix the place up.”

The answer came from the kindness of strangers…volunteers from across the country.  The Appalachia Service Project was founded by a United Methodist minister to help families like the Jacksons experience something as basic as this.

(Nat sound of toilet flushing)

Kathy Jackson/Homeowner: “Our bathroom was in real bad shape.  And our fuse box.  Gosh, we were so worried it would burn the house down because the fuse box was real loose.”

Working with the Cup of Cold Water Project, church volunteers built a new bathroom, porches, installed a kitchen sink and electrical wiring.

Justine Norys/Volunteer, Woodstock, Ill.: “I’m just so thankful for all that I have and the fact that God has given me this opportunity to help others.”

Jerry and Kathy Jackson: “Now you’re able to cook your meals, go to your faucet and get your water instead of going outside, carrying your water in, heating it on the stove.”

Linda Honea / Appalachia Service Project: “Sometimes, the fact that people care enough to help them have that kind of a home gives them encouragement to do all kinds of things in their life.”

Kathy Jackson (at kitchen sink): “We finally got running water.  Cool!”   

Jerry Lynn Jackson: “I appreciate it so much I’m willing to volunteer and help some other family out because they helped us.  Pass it on.”


A warmer, safer and drier home for everyone is the Appalachia Service Project’s mission.  This summer, the organization worked with 13,000 volunteers who repaired more than 400 homes in Central Appalachia, covering Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. 

The Youth Service Fund of the United Methodist Church is one of many sponsors for the Cup of Cold Water Project.  For more information, visit their website at