Jul 11

PV WV Summer – Week 3 Begins

Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It’s important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It’s the way in which we ourselves grow and develop. – Dorothy Height

Over the weekend we welcomed a new group of volunteers. Volunteers traveled from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Minnesota and Wisconsin to spend time volunteering in Wyoming County. Yesterday we had our orientation and commissioning and jobsite sign-ups for the first day.

Today we have volunteers at four different sites throughout the county. One crew headed back to our site in Green Camp to continue with the second coat of paint. They once again had a great time talking with the family.

Another crew worked for a lady in Pineville installing two sets of railings on her steps to make it easier for her to get in and out of her house. While the crew was working outside, there was a crew working inside giving the kitchen a fresh coat of paint. A lot was accomplished today and only touch-ups and a faucet installation is left to be completed.

A third home repair crew spent the day out between Pineville and Welch working for a woman whom the PVs met many years ago. This time we were tasked with trying to stop a leak in her roof that had water running down into her livingroom damaging her ceiling and floor.

We were also able to send a couple of volunteers to Energy Express in Mullens to help with the kids literacy program and feeding program. The volunteers that came were the guest readers for the day and also were able to share what their life is like in Wisconsin. The kids had lots of questions…

For dinner tonight we had sweet and sour chicken, mashed potatoes, black beans, sauteed carrots and green beans and a delightful salad. Definitely a yummy and filling meal. Yum, yum.

We spent time at reflection this week getting to know a little bit more about each other. We have several new PVs this week and many returning volunteers that have not worked together before. It is a great mix and will only get better and we grower closer as a community. We also had volunteers share a new and a good from their day with the group.

Jul 08

PV WV – Second Week – Friday

I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value. – Hermann Hesse

We closed out the week today having two groups working in the county. We sent a group to Energy Express to help with putting together 90 snack kits for next week. These snacks will be distributed at five locations next week.

A group also went back to the home repair site in Green Camp. Upon arrival we were VERY happy to find out the the tarring job from the day before fix the leaks completely. The roof was tested last night with heavy rains, so we and the home owner were very happy. Today we were able to do the final sanding and get a first coat of paint everywhere in the inside of the house. On the outside we were able to patch all the areas on the underside of the porch roof where the leaking had damaged the wood. We were also able to get a first coat of paint on this fresh wood. Next week, second coats everywhere!!!

Both groups spent some time in the afternoon visiting with people with whom we have worked for in the past. One visited the family in Lynco that we have know for years. By all reports all the brothers are doing great. The other visit was to a lady known to the PVs as Foxy Lady, whom we worked for many years back, as well as painting her church. Visiting is such a great experience and we love it when volunteers take the time to do so.

Being it is Friday and we have a new group coming in over the weekend, we decided to clean out the fridge and make it leftovers night. We were able to revisit all the wonderful food that we ate earlier in the week for a second time and it was just as good the second time around.

Also since it is Friday, reflection is focused on looking back at the week that was and to share about how our experience this week has effected us and how we want to bring home a part of West Virginia with us when we leave.

Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers this week. We may have been a bit on the smaller side, but the work that was accomplished was mighty!

Jul 07

PV WV Summer Week 2 – Thursday

We convince by our presence.  -Walt Whitman

Today we went back to continue working on the site in Green Camp. We were able to get on the roof first thing to put tar down to make sure the water had no place to get in. On the ground the crew continued to sand and re-mud where it was needed. They were also able to start painting were the mud was dry and ready. We also did some work on the underside of the porch roof where the water leaking from the top had damaged the wood. We pulled down most of the bad parts and started replacing the wood. Right as we were wrapping things up for the day there was a torrential downpour. It was quite the test for the roof, and happily it doesn’t seem to have any leaks, yay!!!

Dinner tonight was quite a smorgasbord of food. We had meatloaf, a baked potato bar, 3 bean salad and Irish Soda bread. Yum yum! You can never say we don’t eat well here.

During reflection tonight we talked about our journeys as pilgrims through this life, as well as how we can be an advocate for those we meet and share our experiences once we get back home.

Jul 06

PV WV Summer Week 2 – Wednesday

Joy can only be real if people look upon their life as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness. – Leo Tolstoy

Today we spent the day at the site in Green Camp continuing the work of the volunteers from last week. Time was spent drywalling, mudding, taping and sanding said drywall, caulking around the surround kit in the bathroom, painting the outside trim of the newly installed window, and tarring on the roof. It was a bit cooler than last week, but was still plenty warm by the last part of the day.

After the site we all stopped at DQ for a pre-dinner snack to get us warmed up for the main event. For the evening meal, we were treated to perfectly cooked spaghetti and a green salad (always a nice treat) and vanilla pound cake and ice cream for dessert!

Reflection tonight was about where we feel the presence of God and how God speaks to us. A nice sharing and discussion took place with the group.

Jul 04

WV Summer Program – 4th of July

There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest is the greatest creed. – Woodrow Wilson

Happy 4th of July!!!! To celebrate the 4th we had a community day enjoying all that West Virginia has to offer. We started out the day with a hike at Grandview State Park, on the southern end of New River National Park. Beautiful views and sunshine was abundant. After the hike we had a picnic with our PB and J. Next stop in our day was up to the New River Gorge bridge and visitor center. During the drive north the rain showers started that would be with us the rest of the day. The main bridge overlook was closed so we only a small view of the bridge, but we also spent time in the visitors center. After the visitors center we headed to the town of Fayetteville, voted coolest small town in America a few years back. Fayetteville was having a special celebration for the fourth of July with live music and vendors. After walking around a little (and witnessing a hula hoop contest) the community went out to eat for dinner at Pies and Pints.

Our day didn’t end there though, on the way back to Mullens we stopped at Tamarack to see what West Virginia arts and crafts items there were on display. It is always amazing to see the beautiful work is created. And they may have been some ice cream eaten as well….

It was a great day enjoying West Virginia and each other’s company. We are all refreshed and ready to get back to work tomorrow.


Jul 04

WV Summer – Week 2

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. – Annie Dillard

Today marked the beginning of the second week of the 2017 PV Summer Program in West Virginia. This week we are smaller in numbers, but not in heart and desire to service. The group spent the day at the site we were working on in Skin Fork last week. Today was the day of finishing touches. The volunteers installed molding and trim work, painted and installed the shower rod and handle. The home owners seemed pleased with all the work that was done and the volunteers enjoyed working with them.

After the site was completed, we were able to sneak in a quick DQ run before dinner. It was Mexican Monday tonight. We had all the fixings for tacos, beans and rice. While the meal was delicious, the dessert was the perfect topper…apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream. We were given more apples this morning, and what better way to use apples that homemade apple cobbler!

Tonight we had our commissioning service for this weeks newly arrived volunteers. We spent time during the service talking about the importance building relationships and taking the time to talk. After commissioning we made plans for our Fourth of July, a hike in the New River Gorge.


Jul 01

FFTF and the WV Summer Program 1st Week

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.                       – Robert Louis Stevenson

The quote that starts off each day’s post is the quote that is posted at The Way for inspiration for the volunteers. This daily ritual is what inspired our Food for Thought Friday (FFTF) posts throughout the year. Today the two come together for the first time, and what a great reminder that we can all plants seeds for change.

Today marks the end of another great week in PV history. The volunteers did tremendous work this week at the two home repair sites, Energy Express, the basketball camp and Glen Rogers Manor. Taking to heart the mission of the PVs, the volunteers were present to all they met along the way, lending a listening ear and an open heart. We met some wonderful people this week, all of whom have left an indelible mark on our hearts.

This being the end of the week, it is also a chance to clear out the refrigerator. Tonight we had for dinner leftovers from the week. Along with all the wonderful food we get to enjoy for a second time, we were treated to apple cobbler made with apples that were dropped off for us from a local friend. Warm apple cobbler topped with ice cream, what a wonderful way to end the week.

As we do each Friday, we spent reflection looking back at the week and reflecting on the experiences we had and the people we met. We reflected on giving and how giving changes us and helps us discover a new found joy.

Thank you to all the volunteers that choose to take a week of their time and spend it with us. You are appreciated and you will be missed!

Jun 30

WV Summer – June 29th

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style. – Maya Angelou

Today started out a lot warmer this morning, and continued to get more so throughout the day.  The site where we are doing roofing and inside work continued to move along. All the roofing that was completed was done before lunch so that it wasn’t too hot, although it was still mighty toasty! We were able to install the surround kit in the back bathroom, as well as the new faucets. The framing and the new window was installed in the kids room as well. We are moving right along!

At the other site, we are progressing as well. The toilet and faucets are hooked up in the bathroom and the surround kit almost installed. Tomorrow we should be able to finish up in the bathroom, install the window and fix a vent in the ceiling.

We also sent a group to Energy Express again. Sounds like they had a great time working with the kids again. After Energy Express part of the group came back to The Way to help with the last day of  Basketball Camp, while part headed to one of the sites.

Tonight we had breakfast for dinner, a PV tradition during the first week of the program that dates back more than 20 years. A couple (or several, depending on the year) of the male volunteers cook for the dinner. Their breakfast of choice: pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, doughnuts, coffee and OJ.

Reflection tonight was about small moments that have a big impact. Sometimes we never know how much of an impact a small thing we do will have on another person. We were asked to share a small thing we did or that someone did for us this week.