MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - College students from more than 1,000 miles away are in Macon this week.
Their mission? Help rebuild Macon.
The sound of paint scrapers fills the air outside a home in south Macon, where 26 business students from the University of Connecticut are helping Rebuilding Macon, Inc. fix up some homes this week.
They're here over their winter break not for college credits but to give back.
"I think all of us have that similarity of heart where we want to be able to give back," says one of the students, Courtney Hong. "We're hard workers; we like being busy. It's a great group of people to work with, and I think that we just want to be able to give back, help out our fellow Americans, if you will."
"It's so much better than what we did as college kids," says Executive Director of Rebuilding Macon, Inc., Debra Rollins. "We played and had a good time, so for them to actually give back to the community and go to see other people, (it's great). It is a culture shock for them sometimes to go from Connecticut to Georgia; we do things a lot differently, but it's still good people with good hearts. That's what makes a difference."
The group spent Wednesday afternoon fixing up a house on Deeb Drive, which has three generations living under its roof.
"We've completely overhauled the yard," says Mike Anctil, the group's student leader. "(We) did a lot of raking, cutting down some tree limbs. We're scraping the back of the house right now and giving it a whole new coat of paint, so just a total facelift, really."
"I think it's really cool to come down here, meet new poeple, work with new people," says Hong. "I think Rebuilding Macon is doing a wonderful job with what they're doing, and I think it's really cool that we're able to give back to the community and help those that are less fortunate or unable to do what we're doing now."
The group is being house by Wesleyan Drive Baptist Church.
Thursday, they'll get a day off and get the chance to have some fun around town.
Anctil says they're looking forward to experiencing some southern fried chicken for dinner on Thursday.
By the time they head back to school next week, they'll have improved eight houses around Macon.