We finished out the week with another day of hard work at Hesed House. In the morning we went to the warehouse to collect and load items to help a family move into a new apartment and get a new start. The woman and her four children helped to pick out the items to bring over to the new house. After the van was loaded we used our muscles and moved everything to the second floor apartment. As more and more items were put into the apartment you could start to see their new life coming together.
After a quick lunch we went back to Hesed House to help clean out the vents in the dining room/meeting area ceiling. It was an area of cleaning that has been, understandably, overlooked in daily cleaning. After all the dust bunnies were swept and mopped up we were finished for the day it was time to call it a wrap on a great service week.
We wrapped the week up with a celebratory dinner in town. Thank you Bruce and Susan for a wonderful week and for hosting the PVs again!
We had a bit of a smaller group today, but we still got a lot done. In the morning we helped to get a Hesed House guest to the dentist. Hesed House has a great program that connects people who need to go to medical appointments with doctors who are willing to see patients the patients free of charge and offer rides to and from these appointments. The ride was a great time to listen and share stories. After we returned to Hesed House we went to the home repair site from the last few days to put the finishing touches on the floor. The home owner was very happy and thankful with all the work that was done. Meeting her and her family was definitely a highlight in the PVs week. She and her family will be kept in our thoughts and prayers.
Several volunteers had to head home today and several more are coming in tonight, so we have a bit of on off night. What better way to pass the night away than enjoy a Chicago style deep dish pizza.
Here is a bonus picture from our ice cream outing last night:
Keeping with the weather theme, this morning we woke to thunder, lightening and rain, quite the change from the last couple of days. Luckily both our sites were indoors. A group returned to the home repair site to put a protective seal on the newly stripped floor. It was all completed expect for two places where the entertainment center and the piano were sitting. We moved them and then applied the stain. Tomorrow we will go back and seal those two final p!aces. We also spent some time out back fixing a leaking gutter. In the winter the gutter would drip and then freeze the chairlift that the mother uses to get her wheelchair bound son in and out of the house, not allowing the son to leave the house for days when this happens. Hopefully the little bit of adjustment of the gutters we keep this from happening this winter.
The other group worked at Hesed House again, but doing different tasks for yesterday. They finished painting the women’s shelter and cleaning the floors. After eating lunch with the guests at HH, they moved across the street to help organize the area where they keep the supplies for those that are moving out of transitional housing into their own apartms. The starter kits, as they are called, are completed with housewears, cleaning supplies, bedding, etc. Anything one would need to start their new life. Because of the volunteers help, people will have everything they need!
For dinner tonight we were cooked traditional Peruvian food and let me tell you it was delicious! A squash stew over rice and a pasta chicken dish that was delicious. We waited on dessert and made a trip to the local creamery for ice cream after reflection.
The evenings reflection centered around the idea of service, obviously very fitting. After reading a volunteers reflection on her service experience, volunteers shared how they have been changed by doing service. Changing hearts and minds, one person at a time. Changing lives through volunteerism.
We had another hot, summery day in Aurora. Today we broke into two groups for our service activities. One group went back to the house we begun working on yesterday. We rented a floor sander and smoothed out the floors. We were able to get a first coat of the stain on the floor on 95% of the floor. Once again the home owner worked alongside us the whole day.
The other group of PVs worked at Hesed House. In the morning the group prepared and served lunch at the soup kitchen. After they were done serving lunch, they painted in the women’s shelter. We will share pictures after the week when we can get pictures off of cameras.
Dinner tonight was delicious, tuna noodle casserole, mashed potatoes and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Yum yum!
In the evening we all gathered to reflect on our day. We reflected on where and/or we were touched by Jesus tonight. It was a beautiful sharing by all.
Yesterday evening, PV’s descended upon Aurora to begin their week of servce. We started the week with a community dinner, commissioning and making plans for the week ahead.
Today we worked wih a family with several special needs members. Our job for the day was to pull up an old carpet and pad in the livingroom. There was a beautiful old hardwood floor underneath . We cleared everything outand are all set to sand and refish tomorrow .
We had a great dinner tonight, a smorgasbord of yummy foods, many from volunteers home gardens. After the great dinner we gathered together for our nightly reflection. We reflected on our journey and how our journey brought us to this particular place and what it meant for us in our lives today.
The final week of the program we spent the week finishing up one home repair site and doing a second home repair site from start to finish. Besides home repair, the volunteers went to Council on Aging and helped at the Itmann Food Bank and St. Vincent dePaul and help us move all of our supplies back to storage. Here is a small sampling from the week.
It is a team effort make sure that this board is cut correctly
The crew working on railing construction
This young PV has the very important job of making sure the kitty does not get near the saw
A PV taking a close look at the almost finished product to make sure that it is up to her standards
The new (and effective) way to dry dirty and wet work gloves
After all the hard work from the week and helping to move all the PV supplies to storage, the group decided to take a trip up to Fayetteville for dinner.
The beautiful finished ramp
PVs visiting with local folks at the Council on Aging
At the poor site, the home owner and daughter decide the railing is the perfect place to sit
The almost finished porch and roof (the roofing went on the next day). If you look closely you can see the home owner serenading the volunteers with his guitar playing.
The final group of the summer
As you will see, we had a lot of people who liked to take pictures this week. Plenty to choose from to highlight the great work of the volunteers during the week!
PVs working in the St. Vincent dePaul Warehouse
A PV and his young apprentice, the home owner’s great grandson
Ceilings aren’t always fun, but these volunteers certainly make it look fun
At distribution day at the Itmann Food Bank
Measuring how tall a volunteer is…or how tall the set of steps will be
Father and son work side by side installing new steps
The steps came right along
Notice the dog overseeing all the action
Meanwhile in the front of the house volunteers held up the wall…
… or maybe they were replacing the siding
The almost finished product!
No this isn’t an optical illusion, the steps didn’t shrink. This is another set up steps the volunteers built the same week
Working together under the tarp
A young PV attaching the decking
And back under the tarp to cut more deck boards
Two longtime friends from Florida and New York reuniting the volunteer in West Virginia.
The morning lumber store run is often a lot of work. Poor lil’ blue had a load this particular morning
The volunteer’s talents don’t end with home repair, we have quite the musical bunch
What is the saying, measure twice, cut once? This PV has it under control!
There are two ways to complete the task…
This time the supervisor is a kitten named Dagwood
You can’t beat this view for working
Relaxing on the almost finished steps with one of the home owners
Look at this beautiful ramp rounding into form!
A volunteer and the other home owner watching the volunteers carefully
The master builder of the project
Just hanging out, chatting with the homeowner after a long day’s work
The second week brought a lot of rain and a lot of flexibility on the part of the volunteers. Volunteers dodged raindrops, sometimes more successfully than others, and managed to do a lot of great work while enjoying themselves along the way.
A visit to “Foxy Lady” and her daughter always brings smiles.
You are never too young to pitch in and help keep the community run smoothly
It seemed rather appropriate that it was raining when it was time to take the group picture
Yes there is person behind all that drywall dust!
A family that paints together….
This project involved replacing one door and three windows, so lots to do
Our kitty friends seem to find all the comfortable and most in the way spots possible!
Remember when I said tried to dodge raindrops? Oops!
Now that we have wrapped things up from the summer program, we have a chance to upload more pictures from our summer in West Virginia. We will begin today with pictures from the first week.
Volunteers organizing at the St. Vincent DePaul Warehouse
Who knew that roofing would need some lumberjack skills?
Teamwork at its best!
We take our ladder spotting very seriously : )
It is not all work, volunteers always find time to shoot some pool
A young PV learns how to build a ramp from one of our more experienced PVs
This finished project!
A grandfather and grandson volunteer side by side
Volunteers suiting up for a dirty job
At the end of the week, it is tradition to take a group picture
Volunteers always make time to visit “Foxy Lady”
Our youngest PV of the summer hard at work!
Thank you for choosing to come and spend part of your summer with us and the people of Wyoming County, West Virginia. Because of your presence lives were changed. Besides all the work your did in the county, you helped us pack up and move all of our tools and supplies back to St. Vincent DePaul and spent time cleaning The Way. THANK YOU!!!