Crossfire volunteers help community and organize street fair in Ashland – The Shenandoah Sentinel
ASHLAND – More than 60 teens, many from the Amish country of Pennsylvania, traveled to Coal Country this week to carry out community service projects, all culminating in a street fair for the Ashland community.
Crossfire Youth Ministries has been in the Ashland community for approximately 17 years, said James Horning, executive director. The Sentinel outside the old Center Street A&P supermarket that the group is renovating and which will soon house its Ashland Youth Center.
The group, according to their website, also operates a youth center in the township of East Cocalico, Lancaster County, near Ephrata, where they are based.
This week, dozens of teens, as well as adult chaperones, from this area came to Ashland for three days of service projects in the city, as well as a street fair on 12th Street, according to Anthony Weaver, Fredericksburg. , a volunteer of the group. Most of the teens, Weaver said, belong to the community church in Ephrata, though some are also from schools in North Schuylkill.
The volunteers all wore bright yellow shirts with “Ashland, Penna.” 1857 “and a tree on the front, with the Crossfire logo and” We
During the week, volunteers managed a wide variety of projects, including painting the Ashland Municipal Building on Pine Street and 18th Street. Horning said the project was expected to take most of the time they were in Ashland, but was completed within a day. The building houses Ashland’s municipal offices, the police department and the Anthracite Mining Museum.
The group also took care of weeding, waste control and other similar tasks in the city. They also painted the city’s fire hydrants and felled a tree at Higher Ups Park.
On Thursday and Friday, Crossfire has planned a street fair for 12th Street between Center and Chestnut streets, next to the old A&P supermarket.
A variety of activities are included in the fair, including a ring throw, bounce house, soccer throw and face painting, among others.
The fair takes place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on both days.
“It is such a blessing to have them in the city,” said Kaity Korn, city councilor for the Ashland borough. “It’s hard to get teens out these days to do anything, let alone volunteer to give up their entire week several miles from home to do it all in a city they know nothing about and where they don’t. have never been. “
Korn has been involved in the ministry since she was 15 – she is now 32 – and her son, Kenny, 12, was one of the volunteers on Thursday.
“We were very well received in the community. Nothing but good answers, ”Horning said. “People are so thankful for the teens who help clean up and make a difference. “
As to why Crossfire chose Ashland, Horning said, “It’s simple, God called me here.”
Horning said that while he was operating at Ephrata and struggling to get Crossfire off the ground, he received a phone call saying “Hey there is a need in the coal area.”
“I said to our board, I think God is calling us north, and they said go, so I went through Ashland,” Horning said. He said he met a woman in the Ashland skyscraper after she mistook her truck for her uncle’s.
This woman, he said, belonged to Bethany Church, which acquired a building at 12th and Market. He said Crossfire helped Bethany renovate the building and ultimately acquired it himself. The building currently houses Crossfire’s Ashland Youth Center.
Crossfire has been renovating the old A&P supermarket in Center and 12th for several months and is nearing completion. Horning said the building was a “total disaster” and was due to be demolished upon acquisition of the building, and his group set out to renovate the long-abandoned store building.
Horning said renovations to this building are running at nearly $ 500,000 and are almost paid for.
“For me, I am stunned. People gave generously of their time and resources, ”Horning said.
The renovations are nearing completion and Horning is hoping the building will be ready for a possible open house next month.