On Saturday, April 21, youth leaders from churches across New Canaan and Christian Youth Ministries such as Youth Life and Focus joined together with Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County to clean-up and rejuvenate Carwin Park in Stamford. In addition, youth from the Stamford Boys and Girls Club, youth from the Yerwood Center and new Habitat homeowners rounded out the more than 90 youth volunteers who worked for the majority of the day mending fences, digging weeds, painting, reinstalling a rock barrier, spreading wood chips and removing litter.

"Don't let anyone look down on your because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." This scripture, I Timothy 4:12, is inspirational for Ellen Hoover, one of the many young participants in the Better Together: Big Day of Service.

"This quote calls youth to set an example," Hoover said. "That is exactly what all the youth who participated in Better Together: Day of Service proved. We showed that as a Christian family we can accomplish huge tasks."

Hoover, along with Clara Dannemann and John Turner represented the youth members of the United Methodist Church of New Canaan, led by director of children's and youth ministries, Lorri McGuire.

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"The name `Better Together' really does fit this organization of youth and youth leaders," Hoover said. "Each of the youth groups in New Canaan is devoted to helping the community, but in this event we proved that when all of the youth groups are combined, we can do something extraordinary."

Caitlin Scanlan, director of development for Habitat for Humanity CFC, appreciated the youth initiative and is thankful to all those who helped in the Take Back Carwin Park Committee.

"Because of all the hard work accomplished, the Habitat homeowners and surrounding neighbors will be able to use the restored park safely throughout the summer," Scanlan said.

After a long day of work, volunteers took a rest with a hot dog and hamburger lunch. Whole Foods donated water, apples and chips.

Carwin Park, part of the West Side Neighborhood Revitalization Zone, is just down the street from the Habitat CFC recently completed en eight-unit townhome complex at which members of various congregations helped build, including the United Methodist Church of New Canaan.

For more information about Habitat CFC and the work they do for communities around Fairfield County, visit www.habitatcfc.com.