Coast Guard members participate in National Volunteer Week 2010

ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. – More than 30 members of Coast Guard Sector North Carolina volunteered their time and energy building a house, cleaning a state park and helping improve the environment during National Volunteer Week 2010, which spanned April 18-24.

“National Volunteer Week 2010, Celebrating People in Action, honors those who dedicate themselves to taking action and bettering their communities. It’s also about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities — to put themselves at the center of social change,” according to the programs website.

“Sponsored by Points of Light Institute and HandsOn Network—the nation’s largest volunteer network—National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 and has grown exponentially each subsequent year, with literally thousands of volunteer projects and special events scheduled throughout the week. And with the one-year anniversary of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, the creation of the Volunteer Generation Fund and the resonant call to serve from the President, this year will be even more energizing and inspiring.”

Some of the local Coast Guard members worked Monday and Tuesday assisting the North Carolina Coastal Federation with Oyster Bagging. To do this, thousands of oyster shells are placed in mesh bags and they are later dropped into the ocean. Doing this helps restore oyster beds, improves water quality and provides habitats for other oysters. A single oyster can filter 2.5 gallons of water every hour.

About 30 members spent six days helping Crystal Coast Habitat for Humanity in building a house in Newport. They focused on the roof of the home, building the roof truss and putting down the roofing and tar mats. Cmdr. Derek D’Orazio, of Sector North Carolina, helped make sure they were following housing code and quality was maintained throughout the project. Crystal Coast Habitat for Humanity completed 75 home builds since 1988 and broke ground on houses 76 and 77. Families selected to purchase the homes must meet certain income and residency requirements, such as not being eligible for conventional home financing.

Another 10 members volunteered at Fort Macon State Park Tuesday and Friday. Some of their projects included landscaping, doing carpentry on a bathhouse, and painting on the Civil War fort and the park ranger’s house. Their efforts help make the state park a clean and functional place to visit and learn. Fort Macon offers public access to the surf, sun and sand of the Crystal Coast. It is one of a series of barrier islands along the North Carolina coast and is surrounded by water on three sides. Visitors to the park also explore salt marshes and estuaries vital to the coastal ecosystem.

“It was a great opportunity for Coast Guard members to fellowship with our local community while at the same time making a difference through a worthy cause,” said Lt. Shannon Scaff, the incident management chief at Sector North Carolina.

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