Mar 25

PV Fundraiser and Reunion a Success!

What a weekend! PVs gathered on the Jersey Shore this weekend for the annual reunion, but this year was a little different. Local PVs Wayne and Jo had planned a fundraiser dinner for Saturday night, with proceeds going to the PVs. The dinner was so much fun and very successful as a fundraiser. Between the dinner, a basket auction and 50/50 raffle, in total more than $4,000 was raised!!! NONE of this would have been possible with the generosity and all the hard work that Wayne and Jo did to make this event a success. We cannot thank them enough!!! Between food and drink donations, getting donations for the baskets that were auctioned off, selling tickets and so much more, they put so much into making this event a success. Thank you to all who attend (including a wonderful contingent of PVs!) and to the Friendly Sons Of Shillelagh for allowing us to have the event there.

Besides the dinner, we did have our reunion and meeting, although a shortened version. Thank you to the volunteers who came and for Jo for hosting the day at her house. There is always something magical that happens when the PVs gather together, and it isn’t just the wonderful music : ). Please enjoy a sampling of pictures below, there are more to share from the dinner, will post them ASAP.

Mar 16

NIU – Friday

What a great end to a great week. The volunteers spent the day helping at the Itmann Food Bank for Distribution Day. Some of the students helped sign in people, others helped with the food boxes, clothing and housewares and others with helping to bring food to cars. It was a great chance to interact with the local community

This evening we had all the students up to Twin Falls for dinner and a closing reflection. It was great to hear about their experiences from the week and how they would like to take the week into their lives when they return home. As always, we were very impressed with them and know that as they become the leaders of tomorrow we are in good hands.

Mar 14

NIU – Thursday

We are getting really spoiled with the this spring weather this week. Today temperatures reached 75 degrees! Sounds like there will be a change over the weekend with more seasonable temperatures and even a potential for snow showers, but we couldn’t have asked for better weather for this week.

Today we worked a new site in Bud, a site where we will be working this summer doing more extensive projects, but we were able to accomplish a couple of tasks today. We had a group inside painting the ceiling of the living room. It looked so much brighter when it was done. We will continue painting in the summer. The other group of students worked out back clearing some brush and shrubs that had overgrown into the yard. It was pretty impressive what they were able to accomplish in the time and with the tools available to them. (For you long time PVs reading this, you will be happy to know they carried on the tradition of using a sickle for part of the job.) It was a great day and we are looking forward to working with the family again in the summer.

A second group of students decided to return to the Baileysville Head Start for the day. They enjoyed working with the kids during the week and wanted one last change to spend more time with them. As I mentioned yesterday, we really appreciate the openness of the Head Start for allowing the students to come and spent the week in the classroom with the kids. It gives the students a wider view of service and life in the beautiful mountains of Appalachia.

FYI: We have been having some technical difficulties with pictures showing up in the posts. We have a lot more pictures than what we have shared. Hopefully we can get it straightened away next week when we have time to research the issue and share more pictures of the the great work that the students have done.

Mar 14

NIU – Wednesday

By chance, all the sites started a little later today, so all enjoyed a little bit of a sleep in this morning. Instead of waking up when is was still dark, we were able to catch a bit of a sunrise.

We were able to finish up at the home repair site in Ravencliffe today by installing the railings to the newly build steps. The finished product looked great and the home owner was pleased with the work done. It was great that every student had a part in building the steps and will leave that bit of them behind when they leave on Saturday.

Another group with to the Itmann Food Bank to finish up the floor painting, just in time for Friday’s Distribution Day. It will be looking great for all the folks that come in!

The third group of students went to Head Start to work with the kids there. This was the last day at Head Start for the week. A big thank you to the teachers and staff for such a great welcome to the students.

Tomorrow the whole group will work at a site together. Stay tuned for more on that tomorrow…..

Mar 13

NIU – Tuesday

We had another beautiful spring day in Wyoming County today. The home repair crew continued on with the steps and made great progress on the work done yesterday. All the framing and treads are done, all that is left are the railings. There was a lot of laughter, work done with love and care and a cute little dog named Spike. (You can see Spike in the picture of the group on the steps.)

The rest of the group went to Head Start and worked with kids. More volunteers equals more one-and-one time for the kids! The Head Start will also receive extra funding for every volunteer hour. So it is a win-win!!

Mar 12

NIU – Monday

Sunshine greeted us this morning as we got up ready to tackle the first day of the week. Quite a change from last year’s first day when we had snow, ice and freezing weather. Toady the students spent their day at three different sites: a home repair site, Bailyesville Head Start and the Itmann Food Bank.

We returned to a home repair site outside of Ravencliffe that we were at the last week of the summer program. We did not have a chance to install a set of steps out the back door, giving the home owners a second exit in case of emergency. Today at the site the crew was able to set the posts and build the frame for the small 4×4 platform and cut the risers for the steps. We got a lot done today and should be able to finish up tomorrow.

A group of students left early in the morning and drove across the county to Baileysville to work with kids in the Head Start program. It is a great opportunity for the kids to have one-on-one attention and the students have a great time too!

The third group of volunteers spent the day at the Itmann Food Bank painting the floors in preparation for distribution day on Friday. The floors get painted with a special heavy duty floor paint since they see so much traffic each month.

It was a great first day and we look forward to tomorrow!

Mar 11

NIU-PV Service Week Begins!!!

Last night around 10:00 (OK, exactly at 10 when they said they were going to arrive, impressive!) twelve adventurous college students from the Newman Center at NIU arrived at their home for the week, The Way Youth Center/Made New Church in Mullens, WV in Wyoming County. After getting settled, the weary travelers had a good night’s sleep.

Today the group started off the day with a trip to Beckley for Mass and then spent the rest of the beautiful spring-like day enjoying Twin Falls State Park and bonding together as a community. After dinner we had an orientation session and moved right into our commissioning service, preparing them for the week ahead. We are looking forward to a great week and working with these wonderful students.