Teenagers volunteer to make life better for Memphians

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- As the hatch to their trailer came down, teenagers with the Catholic Heart WorkCamp loaded up with the tools they needed to make a difference.

The group spent Tuesday helping homeless people living with mental disabilities at Genesis House.

"We're doing this because that's what we're called to do," Bill Platten, one of the organizers, said. "Jesus said to go out and make disciples and help the poor, and that's what we're trying to do."

The group of Catholic teens pulled out their tape and brushes to get rid of dark paint lining the facility's walls.

People who work at the building were looking forward to the change in paint color because of their clients.

"They come in with broken spirits, low self esteem and (we're) just trying to bring their esteem up some," Tammie Dean said. "Hopefully this will kind of brighten them up, give them a new day," she hoped.

The building operates fully on donations.

Without the group of young people's help, employees say this work would have never gotten done.

"The idea is to help people who just need a boost and can't quite help themselves," Platten said.

Catholic Heart Work Camp has 35 work sites across the city.

They are not only assisting organizations, such ad Genesis House, but also doing good deeds for people who may be in a financial funk.

"There are some individuals who just need some help staying in their homes and need some repairs they can't afford," Platten said.

The Catholic Heart Work Camp is held all over the country.

There will be about 14,000 teenagers volunteering by the time summer ends.

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