St. Francis Catholic Academy in Gainesville will house nearly 200 teens from all over the country for Catholic Heart Work Camp July 14-20.

Catholic Heart Work Camp (CHWC) started in Orlando in 1993 with just 100 campers and has since expanded to more than 13,000 students working in 50 cities throughout the U.S. as well as several international cities. CHWC provides parish youth groups, teens and adult leaders opportunities to restore homes, feed the hungry, assist social service agencies and bring joy to children, elderly and those with disabilities.The goal of Catholic HEART Workcamp is two-fold: to give teens a chance to serve and give back to the community, and to provide an opportunity for them to live out their faith.

Although participants spend the days completing service projects, evenings are filled with faith-building activities, such as daily Mass and praise and worship. Besides some students St. Francis Catholic Academy and parishioners of Queen of Peace Parish, the majority of students participating will be from various states across the nation.

This is the first time CHWC has been held in the Gainesville area. Their service projects will include painting and home improvement, landscaping, interacting iwth chidlren at local daycare centers and assisting with food distribution, outreach centers and homeless shelters.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for St. Francis to host the camp and do mission work in the Gainesville area,” said Stephenie Brockish, director of advancement at St. Francis Catholic Academy.

Local agencies uniting with Catholic HEART Workcamp include:
• Al’z Place ElderCare of Alachua
• Arbor House
• Boys and Girls Club
• Bread of the Mighty Foodbank
• Catholic Charities
• Center of Independent
• Habitat for Humanity
• Haven Attic
• HOPE Archer
• Hope Lodge-American Cancer
• Peaceful Paths
• Queen of Peace Catholic Community
• Rebuilding Together North Central
• Salvation Army
• St. Francis House
• St. Patrick Catholic Church and
Interparish School
• Stirrups and Strides Therapeutic
Riding Center
• Sunrise House
• The Girls Place
• The Village
• Tiffany Powers

If you would like more information, please call Stephenie Brockish at 352-376-6545 or email at