Sharing with Appalachian People (SWAP)

SWAP is a home repair ministry program in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. Volunteers help families make their homes safe, warm and dry, while building relationships and learning about Appalachia.

Volunteers from Iglesia Encienda Una Luz in Harrisonburg, Virginia stand on the scaffolding where they have been repairing and adding new metal to the roof of a home near Northfork, West Virginia.

What is SWAP?

A service and learning program of MCC Great Lakes, SWAP provides meaningful volunteer opportunities for schools, universities, churches, families, groups and individuals.

Participants should be 15 years or older. You can, however, call the office to inquire about younger participants.

SWAP experiences often run in the summer. Experiences can also be arranged during non-summer months and are great options for retirees! 

You will be provided with orientation materials that include group activities focused on working in another culture and on viewing service as relationship building and an opportunity for mutual learning, Bible study and prayer.

Once you get started, a typical SWAP week runs from Monday evening through Saturday morning.

“This week, and the training ahead of time, has given me an appreciation for this unique region and the many different people and cultures that have made it their home. I believe I have caught a glimpse of God’s heart of love for the poor, exploited, misunderstood and overlooked.”—Aaron Kauffman, volunteer from Virginia Mennonite Missions, reflecting on his experience serving with SWAP.

SWAP pre-selects all clients and work projects, providing building materials to complete the project. In most cases, SWAP will provide the necessary tools for volunteer jobs.

SWAP provides food and lodging for participants once they’re on site.

SWAP staff will facilitate evening worship and learning  sessions. Evening programs may include presenters from the local community, a locally hosted dinner, or a local cultural or music event.

A typical SWAP week costs $400 USD per person. The cost covers three meals a day, lodging and materials for homeowners who cannot afford the cost of their home repairs.

Prices are adjusted for groups that come for shorter or longer periods. Call for specific pricing.

Once a group application is approved, the SWAP office will send the group leader a payment arrangement agreement that must be signed and returned within three business days.

Fill out this registration form and SWAP will be in touch with you to go over the details.

You can reach us by phone or email:
Office: (606) 634-4418

Or send mail to: 
MCC Appalachia Office
PO Box 406
Elkhorn City, KY 41522
United States

SWAP stories

SWAP is so much more than home repair projects. Read about how the lives of volunteers and homeowners are changed through SWAP. 

Want to know more?

Need more information about SWAP? Get in touch by filling in the information below.

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Every donation makes a difference.