February 05, 2014 - Malcolm and Veronica Hill of Independence Township plan a summer service trip to Africa, and they need the community's help. In exchange, they're offering help of their own.
"We're no stranger to physical labor, so we thought we'd offer a variety of services," Malcolm said.
"We're looking at various ways to raise money, and let people know you can make a difference here and around the world," Veronica said.
The twins, whose parents are Steven and Erin Hill, are offering snow shoveling, pet sitting, baby-sitting, tutoring, as well as lawn mowing, window cleaning, power washing, and other services when the weather improves, to help raise the nearly $5,000 each for the trip.
They plan to travel to the Maasai More region of Kenya with the Me to We organization. During the three week trip, the main mission will be to help build a school.
"We'll be starting from scratch by making bricks," Malcolm said. "It'll be a full day every day."
"We'll get to know local people, spend time with them, learn some of the language," said Veronica. "It will be a big change, no running water, no technology."
"We have the ability to go halfway around the world and help out," her brother said. "It's something we wanted to do – go out and see the world, and help out here at home."
So far, they've reached out to friends, family, neighbors, community groups and businesses, passing out flyers and spreading the word about their upcoming trip.
"We'd like to share this opportunity with others, and use our skills outside the states," Malcolm said.
"Help us help others," Veronica said. "There's always an opportunity to change the world, not just locally. Even if you don't have the ability, you can make a small monetary donation and help out people who have to walk miles to get water."
"It's a lot of hard work we hope pays off with a great experience," Malcolm said.
"It'll be life changing," said Veronica.
The Clarkston High School juniors have been part of scouting, National Honor Society, and other service groups. They both play soccer, Veronica plays piano, and Malcolm enjoys Scottish snare drumming.
The trip will be at the end of June, with fund-raising deadlines at the end of March.
Sponsorship information is available at tinyurl.com/sponsormalcolmhill and tinyurl.com/sponsorveronicahill. Check metowe.com for information on the social enterprise group.
Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.