A life of significance is about serving those who need your gifts, your leadership, your purpose. – Kevin Hall
This morning crews headed out to two different sites. One group went to the Itmann Food Bank in Mullens to continue to paint the floor. By lunchtime they made a lot of progress so that after lunch they were able to finish, other than a small strip leading from the door to one of the bathrooms. Why, you may wonder would leave this last strip unpainted? Well the PVs are doing an emergency plumbing fix for a leaky pipe this afternoon… no job is too small!!!
The other group of volunteers went to our home repair site in Bud that we started this spring with Northern Illinois University. We will be at this site for several days, but today’s group did a great job starting up for the summer. Part of the group were tasked with removing an old, collapsing back porch to that we can replace it with a small platform and ramp. The home owner has some health problems that make climbing the steep front steps difficult. (In all honesty, we all have a hard time climbing those steps.) Not only will the ramp help with accessibility into the house, at the moment they do not have a safe second exit from the house in case of emergency. The destruction went great even when they had to remove a “tree” that was in their way. Why all of this was happening, volunteers worked around front to shore up the steps to make them safer to use and replaced the front door that was rusting. The lumber is set to be delivered early in the morning (thanks Priddys!) so we should be off and running with the ramp tomorrow.
After a long hard day, we were all ready for dinner! Tonight we were treated to shepard’s pie, both a traditional one and a veggie one. Served alongside the shepard’s pie we had salad and homemade cookies. I am loving the run of comfort foods we are having each night!
Reflection tonight focused on the starfish parable and helping in any little way we can. Everyone shared an experience from their day when someone made a difference to them or when they made a difference to someone else.
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Yesterday evening, volunteers arrived ready to get to work! After a communal dinner, we gathered together to get to know each other a little better and finished the night with the traditional PV Commissioning Service. If you have ever volunteered with the PVs at any of our locations you are probably familiar with the Commissioning Service. It is a way to prepare and focus ourselves on the week ahead and bring into focus into the service we are beginning. It is a tie that binds all PVs wherever they serve.
Today being the first day of the program, the volunteers helped us to move tools and housewares up from our storage in Pineville to The Way and then helped to organize all these items. Because of all their hard work today, the rest of the summer program will run a little smoother. Their work will affect each volunteer that comes later, connecting us all together as a community. Everyone helped with the move, but then those that weren’t organizing went to the Itmann Food Bank to help paint their floors. The Food Bank sees a lot of traffic each month during distribution day and the floors take a bit of a beating. Periodically they need to be resurfaced with heavy duty anti-slip paint. This past spring the NIU students did half of the food bank and then today the summer volunteers worked to complete it. Another wonderful example of the connectedness of all PVs.
After a hard day’s work, we were all looking forward to our dinner which tonight was tuna noodle casserole, salad and homemade apple cake. It was a wonderful and comforting meal.
For reflection tonight we took time to think about how we are each coming down with our own gifts and talents to share and while we are all different, we come together as one to serve together. We went around the circle and share our “new and good” from the day, a good ol’PV tradition : )
Starting Sunday, volunteers from all over the country we begin to arrive in Wyoming County, West Virginia to give part of their summer to help others. If you are joining us, we can’t wait to see you!!! If you can’t join us, we hope you will follow along on our adventures and send lots of love, prayers and good vibes our way for a safe and productive summer. It takes all of us to keep this thing going!!!