Over the Christmas/New Year holiday the Seattle PVs were active in the community, letting those struggling know that someone cares. Right before Christmas, a group of 10 volunteers spent the day with Operation Sack Lunch (OSL), preparing and serving lunch, helping to organize a storage room and storage area, and sorting, organizing and packaging donated tea to hand out to the homeless. Everyone who took part, from age 7 to 70+, enjoyed their day and were impressed by all that OSL does to help the community. Each day OSL serves 2,000 meals throughout the city and at the outdoor meal site where we served, offers three warm meals, 7 days a week, no questions asked.
Between Christmas an New Years, 5 PVs spent the night serving with Union Gospel Mission with their Search and Rescue program, going out in the UGM Van (2 went out for the night) and offering food, hot chocolate, blankets, hats, gloves, hand warmers, toiletries and other necessities to those living on the streets. Besides being able to give out these supplies, we were able to talk with the people who came to the van. The stories of survival we heard were quite amazing. We met people who have been living on the streets for years and also met a women who was newly homeless living in her car with her dog. Our van made 5 stops and ran out of some supplies early on. Beyond our last stop, it was discovered that there was a new large encampment of homeless. UGM will be adding this as a new stop.
Plans are being made with the Seattle volunteers to work at both sites in the next month or two, and we will definitely be returning during the PV Week in April. We hope you can join us!
Take a look inside our latest newsletter for highlights from the last year, plans for the future and so much more!!! (click on the image for a full-sized view)
TO OUR VOLUNTEERS: On this Giving Tuesday, we want to thank the hundreds of volunteers across this country who call themselves PVs. You have generously given of your time to help others who are struggling. Because of this, lives have changed and you have set a wonderful example of what it means to give!
TO OUR DONORS: We also want to thank those who have generously supported our efforts with their financial contributions. We, the program and the volunteers, would not be able to do the work we do without your support. Because of this, lives have changed and you have set a wonderful example of what it means to give!
BE A PART OF IT!!!! GET INVOLVED, WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU JOIN US!
Interested in volunteering at one of our four locations? Email us for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in helping to support us by donating? You can donate via PayPal with the link on the right. Check with your employer too, they might match your donation!
Your can also support while you are Christmas shopping. Sign up as a supporter of PV Volunteers through AmazonSmile and Igive, both will give a percentage of your purchase directly to us. Click on the links on the the right-side of the page for more info.
More information about how you can help support us is on the “Support Us” tab at the top of the website.
Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! May we always be thankful for all that we have and willing to help those who are struggling get what they need.
May We Be Grateful
We are blessed today, with enough to eat,
May we be grateful.
We are blessed with clothes to wear,
May we be grateful.
We are blessed with shelter from the elements,
May we be grateful.
We are very well blessed today.
May we remember that there are many people
who do not have these blessings.
May we be grateful enough to help others when we can.
Copyright Abby Willowroot 2008
We finished out the week with another day of hard work at Hesed House. In the morning we went to the warehouse to collect and load items to help a family move into a new apartment and get a new start. The woman and her four children helped to pick out the items to bring over to the new house. After the van was loaded we used our muscles and moved everything to the second floor apartment. As more and more items were put into the apartment you could start to see their new life coming together.
After a quick lunch we went back to Hesed House to help clean out the vents in the dining room/meeting area ceiling. It was an area of cleaning that has been, understandably, overlooked in daily cleaning. After all the dust bunnies were swept and mopped up we were finished for the day it was time to call it a wrap on a great service week.
We wrapped the week up with a celebratory dinner in town. Thank you Bruce and Susan for a wonderful week and for hosting the PVs again!
We had a bit of a smaller group today, but we still got a lot done. In the morning we helped to get a Hesed House guest to the dentist. Hesed House has a great program that connects people who need to go to medical appointments with doctors who are willing to see patients the patients free of charge and offer rides to and from these appointments. The ride was a great time to listen and share stories. After we returned to Hesed House we went to the home repair site from the last few days to put the finishing touches on the floor. The home owner was very happy and thankful with all the work that was done. Meeting her and her family was definitely a highlight in the PVs week. She and her family will be kept in our thoughts and prayers.
Several volunteers had to head home today and several more are coming in tonight, so we have a bit of on off night. What better way to pass the night away than enjoy a Chicago style deep dish pizza.
Here is a bonus picture from our ice cream outing last night:
Keeping with the weather theme, this morning we woke to thunder, lightening and rain, quite the change from the last couple of days. Luckily both our sites were indoors. A group returned to the home repair site to put a protective seal on the newly stripped floor. It was all completed expect for two places where the entertainment center and the piano were sitting. We moved them and then applied the stain. Tomorrow we will go back and seal those two final p!aces. We also spent some time out back fixing a leaking gutter. In the winter the gutter would drip and then freeze the chairlift that the mother uses to get her wheelchair bound son in and out of the house, not allowing the son to leave the house for days when this happens. Hopefully the little bit of adjustment of the gutters we keep this from happening this winter.
The other group worked at Hesed House again, but doing different tasks for yesterday. They finished painting the women’s shelter and cleaning the floors. After eating lunch with the guests at HH, they moved across the street to help organize the area where they keep the supplies for those that are moving out of transitional housing into their own apartms. The starter kits, as they are called, are completed with housewears, cleaning supplies, bedding, etc. Anything one would need to start their new life. Because of the volunteers help, people will have everything they need!
For dinner tonight we were cooked traditional Peruvian food and let me tell you it was delicious! A squash stew over rice and a pasta chicken dish that was delicious. We waited on dessert and made a trip to the local creamery for ice cream after reflection.
The evenings reflection centered around the idea of service, obviously very fitting. After reading a volunteers reflection on her service experience, volunteers shared how they have been changed by doing service. Changing hearts and minds, one person at a time. Changing lives through volunteerism.
We had another hot, summery day in Aurora. Today we broke into two groups for our service activities. One group went back to the house we begun working on yesterday. We rented a floor sander and smoothed out the floors. We were able to get a first coat of the stain on the floor on 95% of the floor. Once again the home owner worked alongside us the whole day.
The other group of PVs worked at Hesed House. In the morning the group prepared and served lunch at the soup kitchen. After they were done serving lunch, they painted in the women’s shelter. We will share pictures after the week when we can get pictures off of cameras.
Dinner tonight was delicious, tuna noodle casserole, mashed potatoes and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Yum yum!
In the evening we all gathered to reflect on our day. We reflected on where and/or we were touched by Jesus tonight. It was a beautiful sharing by all.
Yesterday evening, PV’s descended upon Aurora to begin their week of servce. We started the week with a community dinner, commissioning and making plans for the week ahead.
Today we worked wih a family with several special needs members. Our job for the day was to pull up an old carpet and pad in the livingroom. There was a beautiful old hardwood floor underneath . We cleared everything outand are all set to sand and refish tomorrow .
We had a great dinner tonight, a smorgasbord of yummy foods, many from volunteers home gardens. After the great dinner we gathered together for our nightly reflection. We reflected on our journey and how our journey brought us to this particular place and what it meant for us in our lives today.
The final week of the program we spent the week finishing up one home repair site and doing a second home repair site from start to finish. Besides home repair, the volunteers went to Council on Aging and helped at the Itmann Food Bank and St. Vincent dePaul and help us move all of our supplies back to storage. Here is a small sampling from the week.
It is a team effort make sure that this board is cut correctly
The crew working on railing construction
This young PV has the very important job of making sure the kitty does not get near the saw
A PV taking a close look at the almost finished product to make sure that it is up to her standards
The new (and effective) way to dry dirty and wet work gloves
After all the hard work from the week and helping to move all the PV supplies to storage, the group decided to take a trip up to Fayetteville for dinner.
The beautiful finished ramp
PVs visiting with local folks at the Council on Aging
At the poor site, the home owner and daughter decide the railing is the perfect place to sit
The almost finished porch and roof (the roofing went on the next day). If you look closely you can see the home owner serenading the volunteers with his guitar playing.
The final group of the summer