Students Lending Helping Hand In Thomasville

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Alicia Turner
July 2, 2015 5:33 pm

THOMASVILLE GA- Douglass High School in Thomasville hasn't been a fully functioning school since it closed more than 30 years ago. Now they have a pre-school and an after-school program that serves hundreds; soon those kids will have a new place to learn and play.

Some students removed nails to replace rotten wood, while others painted walls and installed picnic tables.

"We don't have to necessarily go to some other country to do it. We can do it in our own community and our own nation,” said Bryan Watt of Project Backyard.

High school students from Tampa, Fl, on a two week mission trip, are volunteering at the old Douglass High School in Thomasville. The students are helping turn this 80-year-old building into a community center. Tyrone White works at the school. He said the work is much needed and the students are going to love it.

"Funds are hard to come by. The economy is struggling now and a lot of people have tightened up the belt. They don't give as much; but this organization that's doing this is a great help to us. That was like a miracle to us," White said.

On a daily basis more than 300 kids come across this playground at Douglass High School; and because of things like broken swings, they haven't been able to enjoy themselves for the last six years.

Ryan Harrington is 16 and has been going on mission trips since he was 12. He said the feeling he gets when he helps is one that he can’t put into words.

"It’s emotional just knowing that you make such an impact, I don't even know their names, but I love them," Harrington said.

Project Backyard has offered local volunteer opportunities for the last three years, completing more than 600 projects since they began. Beyond the manual labor, students told Eyewitness News, the project also showed them that everyone is able to make a difference.

Olivia Weinstein, 16, had this to say when asked what the project meant to her, "It gives me a sense of pride. It makes me feel good. I feel like that shows off to the kids, and it makes them feel like wow someone really does care about this community."

For more information on how to donate to Inside Out Nation and Backyard Projects < a href="">

For more information on how to donate to Douglass High School you can send them an email at

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