The same landscape that brings West Virginia its beauty also plays a key role in bringing the Appalachian community a struggle against poverty. Because of the mountainous terrain, many individuals who are in need of assistance struggle with receiving help. Their pure geography causes them to be overlooked and abandoned. Those left in great need are the widows, elderly and disabled. The Appalachian region is considered one of the most impoverished regions of the United States. Only 42% of individuals living in Flatwoods graduated from HS, unemployment is high and more than half of the households fall below the poverty level.
Many of the work projects center around families who struggle to provide basic amenities for their children or the growing elderly population, who usually live on a fixed income and have no money for house repairs. You will also have the opportunity to partner with small churches and reach out to the community by interacting with the residents and showing them love and a reason to hope.
Blackhawk Church has been partnering with Next Step Ministries for close to 10 years. Next Step Ministries is committed to building long term relationships with each community they are in. This helps the overall mission to help students grow closer to Christ through a life-changing, one week mission trip.