I volunteered with CAP during 2004- 2005. I had an amazing experience and the organization has truly impacted the people of Eastern KY in a positive manner. CAP provides wonderful programs including housing repair, child care, respite, after school care, adult education, elderly care, and a host of other programs. There is a paid staff that is part of CAP and a board of directors... without which the organization would fall apart. Father Ralph Beiting started the organization 50 years ago and it is a huge undertaking... not everyone can be a volunteer anymore as there is too much work to do and plus... it's providing jobs for people in the area. Please consider volunteering for this organzation... it is a life changing experience.
I have volunteered and continue to do so on a short term basis, in Housing, typically spending 5 months a year with them since 2009. CAP is an excellent organization to volunteer with, and has a direct and effective impact on the lives of those in Appalachia it serves. It also has a life changing impact on the college students who sign up to volunteer each spring on alternative spring breaks, known as Workfest (similar program for high school students, Youthfest).
Like so many charities, it has been severely stressed by the reduction of donations in 2012. It is not alone in this situation, and must try to maintain or solicit new donors to overcome this 25% or so decline.
I cannot say enough about this organization and the opportunity it presents for volunteers to truly engage and impact the needs of the poor in Kentucky.
I participated in Workfest 2005 and 2006. Workfest is an annual gathering of college groups that travel to Kentucky during their spring breaks to help rebuild homes in Eastern Kentucky. I am saddened to see negative reviews because both my experiences were awesome. Workfest was organized and the team leaders were excellent. They provided me and the other volunteers with guidance (most of us had never worked with power tools before this) and they also helped to educate us on some of the problems that people in this area face. It is truly mind-boggling that people can be living in such poverty in this country! The first house my group helped rebuild was owned by an 80-year old woman named Opal. Her walls were insulated with cardboard boxes and her house was basically falling down around her. She was extremely grateful for the work we did and not at all ashamed of her financial situation. We visited with her at the start and end of each work day and she was always thanking and blessing us!
My second experience with WorkFest was just as good as the first. The homeowners were extremely happy we were there and often cooked us traditional southern dishes to show their thanks.
If you want the chance to step outside your comfort zone, learn to use power tools, talk to people whose lives are completely different from yours (even though you live in the same country), meet other volunteers from places all over the US, and see a very beautiful slice of America, I recommend getting involved with CAP.
I started donating small amounts of money years ago to this organization in honor of family members. They treat small donors with the same appreciation of larger ones. After retiring, I decided to increase my donation by becoming a short term volunteer. I have served at WorkFest, YouthFest and Children's Summer Camp. I have observed how the funds are spent. All persons involved are dedicated to stretching the donations, and at the same time having quality programming. I admire what this organization does for the people of Appalachia. They are truly Americans helping Americans---They are 'What's Right with America"
Review from Guidestar