When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves. – William Arthur Ward
We awoke this morning to a bit of unusual summer weather for us down here, it was only 49 degrees! On our trip to the lumber store we even had to turn the heat on in the truck. It didn’t stay too cool for long though, as the day progressed the temperatures reached 80 degrees. We couldn’t be more grateful for the temperatures as it has made working on the roof a lot more pleasant than it would have been if the weather was warmer and more humid. It still manages to get hot on roofs regardless, but it makes it a little more bare able. The roofing site progresses nicely today as we finished one part of the roof and moved around to the next section. Inside the dry-walling continued as well as work on one of the bathroom faucets.
At the other home repair site, the crew continued work in the bathroom laying floor tile and resetting the toilet, as well as installing the new surround kit to keep the walls dry. This site, while it is not on a roof, is also benefiting from the cooler temperatures as the bathroom that is being worked on is quite small and can get a little toasty with 3 or 4 bodies in there.
The third PV crew that headed out today worked with the kids in Wyoming County. In the morning they spent time at Energy Express and in the afternoon with the basketball that is being held at The Way. One great thing we found out yesterday at Energy Express, was that one of the college kids that is running the site is from Glen Fork and had gone to our PV camps years ago. Kind of a cool full circle moment.
As usual the volunteers worked up quite an appetite for dinner. (Those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are good and satisfying on a job site, but volunteers look forward to the main event, dinner!) Tonight we had Tuna Noodle Casserole for dinner. I don’t think you can go wrong with Tuna Noodle Casserole, it is such a nice comforting food. Dinner, as always, was delicious.
Reflection tonight was a throwback PV experience. For you old timers, you will remember Lifelines. The group sharing when we go around a share significant moments in our lives with our community members. It is always a great way to get to know each other.
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. – John F Kennedy
The weather we have had so far has been beautiful. Sunny, dry, not too hot and not too humid. We really couldn’t ask for better weather for working outside on a roof. Today’s first site in Green Camp had the volunteers pulling up an old leaky porch roof, patching the rotted areas with plywood and then begin installing new roofing. While the crew worked above on the roof, another crew worked inside patching drywall in the hallway. A lot of work was completed and we look forward continuing there tomorrow.
The second site of the day was just right around the corner in Skin Fork. The volunteers worked in a bathroom where the floor was weak and falling through. Volunteers replaced the floor and will be continuing to work on that as well as the replacing the surround kit in the bathtub/shower.
A third group of volunteers spent the day working at Energy Express in Mullens. Energy Express is a summer program that focuses on literacy activities for program participants. Enrollees are involved in a variety of activities that include reading, arts, crafts, etc. In addition to these activities, children are served family-style meals that include breakfast and lunch. Local teenagers and young adults run the program for kids kindergarten through 6th grade. One of our volunteers who went is a music teacher. He had the kids singing and moving to music to start the day. One of our younger volunteers that helped at Energy Express, came back to The Way with her dad to take part in the basketball camp, because she had so much fun yesterday that she wanted to return. Kids kindergarten through 6th grade have been enjoying the camp put on by the pastor of Made New Church and The Way.
After a hard day’s work, volunteers were ready for dinner. Dinner tonight was a wonderful Mexican Skillet with homemade salsa, chips and cheese sauce, with brownies for dessert. It was delicious!
Tonight’s reflection was around the idea of things not always being black and white and the importance of seeing those area of gray without judgement. We were asked to share a new and good, and an example of a gray area that we have witnessed.
Start by doing what’s necessary: then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. – Francis of Assisi
Today marks the first work day of our 20th summer in Wyoming County, WV. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were new to the county, figuring out where everything was, meeting new people and setting up shop in Glen Rogers. Now in our 20th summer, we call The Way/Made New Church our home, but we continue to explore new places and meet wonderful new friends.
The volunteers arrived yesterday in time to share a communal dinner together and then gather as a community for our commissioning service and a little refresher about what the PV experience is all about: service, community and reflection. Today the volunteers helped us move our tools and housewares supplies to our summer home and set up for all the volunteers that will be coming and spending time in Wyoming County. Besides this thankless, yet necessary task, volunteers helped with a basketball camp that The Way was holding and also helped to sort items at the Itmann Food Bank. It was a full and eventful day!
Our dinner tonight was a delicious combination of chicken grilled outside, a cheesy pasta cauliflower dish and salad. We also celebrated a volunteer’s birthday (Happy Birthday Hannah!) with a scrumptious homemade chocolate mousse cake.
Since volunteers don’t arrive until Sunday this summer, we lose out on PV Community Day where we had a chance to get to know and spend time with our fellow volunteers. Because of this, on Monday evening for reflection, we will be taking the time to learn a little bit about our fellow volunteers by creating poetry about ourselves and sharing. After everyone shared a poem, New and Goods were shared around the circle.
We are looking forward to another great day tomorrow.
Wherever you turn, you can find someone who needs you. Even if it is a little thing, do something for which there is no pay but the privilege of doing it. Remember, you don’t live in the world all of your own.
Starting Sunday, volunteers from all over the country will begin to arrive in Wyoming County, WV to spend time volunteering with the PVs. This summer marks the 20th summer we have been in Wyoming County and the 44th year of our existence. We will be posting daily through the summer, including daily “Food for Thought” quotes. Whether in person or in thought, we hope you will join us on our journey….Be a part of it!!
Don’t ask what the word needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.
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
No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to other is that it makes them kind themselves.
BE A PART OF IT…The 9th Annual Live with Passion kicks off today, June 1st. The Live with Passion is the PV Volunteers big fundraiser each year. To help with the fundraising efforts this year, we have launched a Live with Passion crowd-funding campaign which you can find here: https://chuffed.org/project/pvs-live-with-passion.
Our goal is to raise $10,000 to keep the PV Volunteers going past this summer’s program in West Virginia. We have been around for 44 years helping those struggling in our country, and we would like to continue our mission. You can donate as an individual or in support of a volunteer organized event. Any little bit helps!
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.
PVs in Aurora, IL- 2013
Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.
Joel A Barker