Eight Days of Hope

Tercei Barreto, 14, scrapes drywall of a renovated home as part of the Eight Days of Hope program.

Courtesy photo

From vacation Bible school to repairing homes affected by natural disasters, a Copperas Cove family finds a way to give back to those in need.

The Barreto family, Rita Barreto and her daughters —14-year-old Tercei and 12-year-old Maritza — have accrued more than 1,000 hours individually and more than 3,000 hours together volunteering. The Barretos attend the First Baptist Church of Copperas Cove, help with vacation Bible school and assist with Operation Christmas Child.

“They are tremendous helpers and take initiative,” said Melinda Burch, the children’s ministry coordinator at the church. “If something needs to be done, they do it. No prompting is needed. They are always willing. They are great volunteers and never complain.”

The Barretos also operate a shaved ice trailer at Copperas Cove city sporting events. They donate 10 percent of the proceeds to city park beautification efforts.

“They are very hard workers,” said Barbara Coleman, the owner of Coleman’s Shaved Ice.

Another venue for the family to volunteer is Eight Days of Hope, a Christian disaster recovery organization that helps uninsured disaster victims rebuild their homes.

The Barretos contributed to building homes in North Carolina after Hurricane Sandy and in Louisiana after Hurricane Isaac.

The family has learned to manage its schedule to have volunteer time.

Rita Barreto works at Memorial Christian Academy, where she also volunteers. She home-schools her two daughters, who are honor students.

The entire family volunteers with the local home-school cooperative for eight weeks each fall and spring.

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