A program dedicated to bridging religious gaps is looking for the community’s help.
The Mahoning Valley Ulster Project is a program that allows teenagers to travel from Northern Ireland to the United States and stay with a host family for 30 days.
“It started out as a peace project for the teens in Northern Ireland, and it brings over teens that are half Catholic and half Protestant,” said Greg Hartz, the head of host families for the Mahoning Valley Ulster Project.
The purpose is to unite Catholic teens with Protestant teens and allow them to engage with each other to find that they may share common interests and values.
The program is currently looking for volunteer host families for this upcoming summer.
The teens are set to arrive on June 26 and stay until July 26. During that month, the program has activities, field trips and events lined up for the teens.
The only requirement is that the family have a teenager already in the home between the age of 14-16 who may also participate.
All expenses of the host teen are paid for by the Ulster Project, other than contributions from the host family such as room and board, food and transportation.
Hartz has hosted teens in the past and says the experience is wonderful for both the host family and the teen.
In total, the program has 14 chapters. Four of those chapters are in Ohio. Ten teens will be staying in the Valley.
So far the program has four families, but is still in need of six more before June 26.
Anyone interested in hosting a teen should contact Greg Hartz at 330-770-1440 or GTKMR@AOL.COM.