Happy St. Patricks Day from West Virginia!!
This was the last work day of the week, and the whole group spent the day at the Itmann Food Bank helping with the monthly distribution of food, clothing, diapers and housewares to families in need. Not only did they hundreds of families get much needed assistance, they also provided a listening ear to many people who just wanted someone to listen to them and hear their struggles.
This evening we shared a meal together with the students at St. John’s Catholic Church in Mullens and then closed the evening with a reflective look back and sharing about the week.
Once again we have been impressed with the quality of students who come down and spend their spring break helping others. Kudos to NIU’s Newman Center for putting the group together and preparing them for their experience. Also, a big thank you to the group’s leaders, Tia and Brian, to Dan for coming and sharing his home repair knowledge and patience nd compassionate self with the students. And finally, thank you to all in Wyoming County who made us all feel so welcome.
It was a cold, cold morning with temperatures in the single digits and a pretty steady wind all day. Wyoming County schools were delayed because of the cold weather, so we delayed the start to our day an hour so we could let the roads thaw. Because of the delay Head Start was cancelled, so we sent a bigger group to continue working on the home repair site. With all the extra hands, we were able to get the first couple coats of paint on the walls of the room we are painting. The color we are painting over is a pretty blue, but the dark color is making many coats necessary. Other smaller projects were worked on throughout the house and a lot of talking, listening and sharing were done with the two home owners.
The other group worked at the St. Vincent dePaul warehouse in Pineville. People sign up through the food bank to receive furniture and bigger items. We there are some available, they are called to come and pick them up. Knowing the students were going to be there, there were scheduled pick ups throughout the day. The volunteers helped the clients choose what they needed and helped load the car.
Even though the temperatures never reached freezing today, by the end of the day the sun was shining and the snow was melting, we are ready for our next adventure tomorrow!
Well, we didn’t wake up to the expected snow, but it did end up snowing all day. It made for a beautiful scene and the roads stayed clear so we were able to still move around fine. The Head Start crew had another great day working with the kids in Baileysville. Not only do they have a great time, but Head Start gets additional funding for every volunteer hour. A win-win!
A second group went to the St. Vincent dePaul warehouse to organize and clean. By the end of the day the warehouse looked fantastic and ready for furniture distribution tomorrow.
The third group had more of a surprise day. when they arrived at the home repair site, the home owner was sick and asked if we could not work today and come back tomorrow. Of course this was fine! The group went to St. Vincent de Paul to prep and collect some materials for the site and then helped to organize one of our storage areas. Their hard work will help us find our supplies this summer!
Big thanks to the students for their flexibility today! Looks like tomorrow may be a challenge as well. below freezing temperatures and more snow snow showers. It’s an adventure!
We were greeted this morning to beautiful sunshine and fairly mild weather. We know this will be changing soon, so we made sure to appreciate it while it was here. The students were spread out over the county working on three different projects. One group went to Baileysville Head Start and spent the day helping the teachers work with the kids, aged 3-5 years old. Not only did they get to work with the kids in the classroom, they rode the bus with the kids when they were dropped off at the end of the day. By all reports it was a great day.
A second group went to the St. Vincent de Paul warehouse to load up housewares that were then brought to the Itmann Food Bank. The students unpacked the housewares and put them on the shelves so they would be ready for distribution day on Friday. During the day they learned about the great work that both St. Vincent de Paul and the Itmann Food Bank do.
The third group worked at our home repair site off Cabin Creek road outside of Itmann. We started working with these two sisters last summer and had promised to come back and do some indoor work this spring. Today the volunteers, with the help of home repair guru Dan, put two windows into one of the bedrooms that only had plastic covering the holes and fixed a hole in the drywall in the other bedroom. We will be continuing to work on this house during the week doing several different projects.
The weather for tomorrow looks like it might be a challenge, so say a little prayer that we will be able to go about our planned projects tomorrow, and not be snowed in….
In the meantime, here are a couple of pictures from the crew who went to the Itmann Food Bank today. We will add more pictures from the other activities as we get them
Just after 10pm last night, 12 NIU students navigated the final turns through the mountains and arrived at their home for the week, The Way Youth Center in Mullens, West Virginia in Wyoming County. These students are part of a long and rich history of collaboration between the PV Volunteers and Northern Illinios University, dating back to 1999 when the first group of stundents travelled the same roads into the county.
After a short night sleep due to the late arrival and the time change, the group went to St. John’s for Mass in the morning. After Mass we headed back to The Way where the students were welcomed with a breakfast and fellowship time with the church community who uses The Way for their services. The rest of the day was spent building community and preparing for the week ahead with an orientation and commissioning prayer service.
Follow along for daily updates and enjoy the adventures that are ahead!
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
Things are about to get really busy in the PV World and we hope you join us in the journey, whether in person or by following along on the website:
In 1 Week
– 15 Northern Illinois University students will be arriving in Wyoming County, West Virginia for a week of service. This is NIU’s 19 consecutive spring break with us! (March 11th -18th)
In 3 Weeks
– PVs will be in Bradley Beach, NJ for a reunion
weekend. (See previous email/post for details) If you plan on joining us, please let us know as soon as you can so we can make arrangements. We hope to have a big turnout for this PV Reunion. I mean really, what is more fun than hanging out with your PV family??? (March 25th)
In 7 Weeks – The PVs will be in Seattle for a week, performing service throughout the city. There are many local PVs that will be taking part and it is not too late to join them! If you plan on coming, let us know soon! (April 23rd-29th)
And a little further off, in 16 Weeks the PV Summer Program in West Virginia begins… more on that one later
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
From “The Lorax”
In honor of Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Suess) birthday yesterday
We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.
*This was originally suppose to post on Friday, but for technical issues did not post. Better late than never, right?