Using vacation to paint the town

By Lakecia Shockley - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - They could have spent their summer having fun in the sun, but instead a group of dedicated Texas teens are painting East Texas towns white. All week, more than 85 teens and adults have descended upon Longview and Kilgore for East Texas Work Camp. Their goal is to do minor home repairs for deserving East Texas homeowners.

90-year-old Glenn Barton and his 82-year-old wife, Lillie couldn't be more thankful for the work of some unselfish teens.

"I love those kids," said Lillie Barton. "They are my kids. God has blessed us in every way."

"They're doing the work that I used to do," said Glenn Barton. "We're just thankful for it."

For more than 50 years the Barton's have lived in their Kilgore home, where they raised their family and only paid a $72 a month house note.

"I paid this house out and I never missed a payment and we was glad to get it," said Glenn Barton. "Stuff was cheaper back then than they are now, I guarantee you."

"Aren't they the cutest," exclaimed Rachel Wood, 16, a summer worker. "I can't believe it, I'm hoping just by the time I'm 50, I can move around like they do but they're so nice."

Wood is one of the "scraping pros" of the East Summer Camp workers.

"It's great when you're doing something, to see the people that you're doing it for," said Wood. "It just makes you feel so much better and you know they're really going to appreciate it too."

Lane Brown is the camp's organizer.

"You almost feel like the extreme make-over guy except we're not doing an "extreme" makeover but a nice makeover," said Brown.

A nice makeover that will hopefully have the Barton's home looking like it did way back when.

"We're doing stuff that they can't do anymore and I'm just going to be so glad when we have the job finished and we can walk away knowing that not only did we make it prettier we made it a much more habitable place for them."said Wood.

"It's gone look good when it's all painted," said Glen Barton.

The East Texas Work Camp teens hope to have the Barton's home painted by Thursday. They do all the home repairs for free and they say they couldn't do it without sponsors who donated the material, like East Texas Lumber Jack and Lowe's.

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