Spring Break is for service…at least that is the sentiment for a group of students from the Newman Center at Northern Illinois University who have chosen to spend their spring break with the PVs in Wyoming County, West Virginia.There are so many other things that these guys could be doing this week, but instead they will be building a ramp for a man who needs it desperately, assisting the teachers at Head Start and lending a hand at St. Vincent dePaul and the Itmann Food Bank.
The students arrived late last night after their 14 hour trek from DeKalb. We were happy to see so many familiar faces from year’s past and meet a few first timers. Since the Catholic Church in Wyoming County has closed, the group attended Mass in Beckley. Next on the agenda for the group was a hike at Twin Falls State Park. With the weather forecast to be cold and snowy for most of the week, they were able to enjoy a sunny, warmish day exploring the falls. In the evening we all gathered to talk about the week ahead, give a bit of background on the PVs and Wyoming County, and officially start the week as we do all PV weeks, with a commissioning service.
We are looking forward to the week and hope you will be joining us on this journey from wherever you are reading this by following along and keeping the group in your thoughts and prayers.
The first NIU group in 1999
On Saturday, students from Northern Illinois University and nearby Kishwaukee College will be arriving in Wyoming County, WV for a week of service with the PV Volunteers. This year is a special one as it marks the 20th year of this collaboration with the Newman Center at NIU. It seems like yesterday that we were welcoming that first group of nine students. It was an unknown for everyone at that point. Who would have known that 20 years later the tradition would be so strong. We have enjoyed this partnership over the years and met a lot of wonderful people who are trying to do their part to make the world a better place.
We are excited to begin this year’s service week. We will be posting each day during the week and encourage you to follow along and take this journey with us. The group will be doing a home repair project, working with Head Start and assisting at the St. Vincent dePaul warehouse in Pineville and at the Itmann Food Bank Distribution Day. Please hold them in your thoughts for a safe week and wonderful week.
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We would like to thank Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation for their generous grant of $5,000 to help with the work the PV Volunteers do in Wyoming County, WV. This year, Dominion Energy awarded 1 million dollars to 161 nonprofits in 11 states, including 14 organizations in West Virginia. Because of their gift, the PVs will be able to help more people this summer.