Jul 04

WV Summer – Week 2

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. – Annie Dillard

Today marked the beginning of the second week of the 2017 PV Summer Program in West Virginia. This week we are smaller in numbers, but not in heart and desire to service. The group spent the day at the site we were working on in Skin Fork last week. Today was the day of finishing touches. The volunteers installed molding and trim work, painted and installed the shower rod and handle. The home owners seemed pleased with all the work that was done and the volunteers enjoyed working with them.

After the site was completed, we were able to sneak in a quick DQ run before dinner. It was Mexican Monday tonight. We had all the fixings for tacos, beans and rice. While the meal was delicious, the dessert was the perfect topper…apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream. We were given more apples this morning, and what better way to use apples that homemade apple cobbler!

Tonight we had our commissioning service for this weeks newly arrived volunteers. We spent time during the service talking about the importance building relationships and taking the time to talk. After commissioning we made plans for our Fourth of July, a hike in the New River Gorge.


Jul 01

FFTF and the WV Summer Program 1st Week

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.                       – Robert Louis Stevenson

The quote that starts off each day’s post is the quote that is posted at The Way for inspiration for the volunteers. This daily ritual is what inspired our Food for Thought Friday (FFTF) posts throughout the year. Today the two come together for the first time, and what a great reminder that we can all plants seeds for change.

Today marks the end of another great week in PV history. The volunteers did tremendous work this week at the two home repair sites, Energy Express, the basketball camp and Glen Rogers Manor. Taking to heart the mission of the PVs, the volunteers were present to all they met along the way, lending a listening ear and an open heart. We met some wonderful people this week, all of whom have left an indelible mark on our hearts.

This being the end of the week, it is also a chance to clear out the refrigerator. Tonight we had for dinner leftovers from the week. Along with all the wonderful food we get to enjoy for a second time, we were treated to apple cobbler made with apples that were dropped off for us from a local friend. Warm apple cobbler topped with ice cream, what a wonderful way to end the week.

As we do each Friday, we spent reflection looking back at the week and reflecting on the experiences we had and the people we met. We reflected on giving and how giving changes us and helps us discover a new found joy.

Thank you to all the volunteers that choose to take a week of their time and spend it with us. You are appreciated and you will be missed!

Jun 30

WV Summer – June 29th

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style. – Maya Angelou

Today started out a lot warmer this morning, and continued to get more so throughout the day.  The site where we are doing roofing and inside work continued to move along. All the roofing that was completed was done before lunch so that it wasn’t too hot, although it was still mighty toasty! We were able to install the surround kit in the back bathroom, as well as the new faucets. The framing and the new window was installed in the kids room as well. We are moving right along!

At the other site, we are progressing as well. The toilet and faucets are hooked up in the bathroom and the surround kit almost installed. Tomorrow we should be able to finish up in the bathroom, install the window and fix a vent in the ceiling.

We also sent a group to Energy Express again. Sounds like they had a great time working with the kids again. After Energy Express part of the group came back to The Way to help with the last day of  Basketball Camp, while part headed to one of the sites.

Tonight we had breakfast for dinner, a PV tradition during the first week of the program that dates back more than 20 years. A couple (or several, depending on the year) of the male volunteers cook for the dinner. Their breakfast of choice: pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs, doughnuts, coffee and OJ.

Reflection tonight was about small moments that have a big impact. Sometimes we never know how much of an impact a small thing we do will have on another person. We were asked to share a small thing we did or that someone did for us this week.


Jun 29

WV Summer Program – June 28th

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.

Jun 28

June 27th – 2nd Day WV Summer

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.

Jun 27

Monday June 25th – First Day

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.

Jun 23

FFTF and Summer Program Begins!

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.
~Albert Schweitzer

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!!

Jun 02

Food for Thought Friday, June 2nd

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. 

Amelia Earheart