Jul 22

PV WV Summer – Final Day

People of different faiths, like yours and mine, sometimes wonder where we can meet in common purpose, when there are so many differences in creed and theology. Surely the answer is that we can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation stemming from a common worldview. – Mitt Romney

Today was the last day of the West Virginia Summer Program. Where did the time go??? Today was distribution day at the Itmann Food Bank so a group of volunteers went there to help distribute food. While helping, the volunteers saw a lot of people they knew from sites from this year and years past. After they were finished there, the group came back to The Way to help clean.

The other group of volunteers spent their morning helping to pack up all of our stuff and move it down to St Vincent dePaul where we store it for the year. Each year everything becomes more and more streamlined and efficient. We couldn’t do it without everyone’s help whether by packing, moving or cleaning.

In the afternoon some volunteers went to Glen Rogers Manor to spend time with the residents. They played Banana BINGO, painted nails and sang songs. Both the volunteers and the residents had a great time. Some others that stayed back went on a hike to the top of Tator Hill in Mullens. The beauty of the nature surrounding us here is inspiring.

Because we packed up all of our stuff, tonight is pizza night in PVland. It is a special treat for all the hard work the volunteers did today, and all of this week. After dinner we gathered for our final reflection and closing prayer service of the summer.

Thank you to all who spent time with us this summer. Because of you, lives were touched and changed.

Jul 21

PV WV – Week Four – Thursday

Start where you are. Distant fields always look greener, but opportunity lies right where you are. Take advantage of every opportunity of service. – Robert Collier

Today was the final day of the home repair program in West Virginia this summer. We were able to wrap up all the sites successfully. The site in Covel finished up with finishing a beautiful porch roof over part of the back porch area. Not only was the construction of the roof completed, but two of our younger PVs created a climbing wall up the mountain, complete with stepping stones, for the home owner’s young son. The volunteers had a great time at the site, on the family will now be able to enjoy some nice shade and protection on their porch.

We also finished up the site in Bud. Today the volunteers put a top on the back porch and worked inside installing a ceiling fan and fixing the kitchen sink, which had not had hot water for quite some time. The lady when lives in the trailer was happy with the work the volunteers did in such a short time. A crew that did the inside work in Bud also ran over to the site in Cabin Creek to check on the hot water heater. We were happy to report that all was working well and no fine tuning was needed.

We also sent volunteers to work at Energy Express to help with the programs for the kids. All summer long the volunteers had a great time working with the kids. All were impressed with the quality of program and look forward to helping next year.

We had a great dinner tonight. We had a hamburger cookout, pasta salad, regular salad, mixed veggies and enchilada surprise. Everything was delicious. I have to say, we really did eat well this week, a big variety of vegetables at every meal.

For reflection, the volunteer leading it read the bible verse about one body, many parts and how we each have an important role as volunteers. We were asked to share a time today that we say someone else doing something good and helpful.

After reflection we had a community game of soccer. We didn’t last quite as long as we did during the basketball game, but we had a great time. After that game, many in the community played a round of Wits and Wagers. As the saying goes, a community that plays together stays together : )


Jul 20

PV WV Summer – Week 4 – Wednesday

When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed. – Maya Angelou

As the sun rose and the fog burned off, the day became a warm one. The heat did not stop the crew from working hard and having a great time. We finished up, for the most part, at our site in Cabin Creek. There were lots of small touches that needed to be completed. Everything looks great. We will be returning there tomorrow to do a little troubleshooting with the water heater, but after that we have wrapped everything up.

We started two new sites today as well. One group worked in Bud at an elderly lady’s home. We put on aluminum roof coating on top of the trailer, a task that has been part of the PV experience for years, but one we don’t do as much in the past few years. We also had a crew inside looking at a plumbing issue in the kitchen and a ceiling fan that was not working. We will be returning tomorrow to finish up the work inside and building a small porch roof over her back steps.

The other new site for today was in Covel for a family that lives up on the side of a mountain in a beautiful setting. We started to build a porch roof over an existing porch/patio. When completed this roof will give the family a nice area of shade.

A group of PVs also went to Energy Express. Today they had a special guest reader who was also a hulu-hooper. She read the kids a book about hulu-hooping, showed the kids her moves, and let them try. After the volunteers went into the different rooms and read with the kids.

We had a Mexican feast for dinner tonight, enchilada’s 4-ways: veggie, vegan, meat and meat and veggie. We also had a zucchini saute made from zucchini’s given to us by our friends from Cabin Creek. It was so delicious. For dessert we had chocolate cake a strawberries, chocolate chips and lots of other goodness.

Reflection tonight was centered around the song “The Rose.” We were asked to share a rose, a bud and a thorn.

Jul 19

PV WV Summer – Week 4 – Tuesday

Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others. – Rosa Parks

Today was a hot and humid day in the mountains of West Virginia, but the volunteers push forwarded and worked hard. We were able to finish up two sites today. The site in Black Eagle wrapped up nicely as the volunteers continued to replace railings and put non-slip tread on the new steps from yesterday. The other task for today was to scrape and paint the underside of the porch roof. The finished product looked great.

The other site that finished up today was the porch roof site in Alpoca Bottom. Today the group just had to install the metal and replace a few floor boards. They were done by lunchtime. The group then headed back to The Way to continue to remove the floor tiles in the front entry area. They had that job done in no time! One of the volunteers also helped to tar a leaky roof from earlier in the summer.

The third home repair site in Cabin Creek continued to make great progress. The laundry room was finished and the eave work pretty much is done. Tomorrow we will be returning to finish up so odds and ends and spend some more time with the family.

We were also able to send a group to Energy Express again to help out with the kids. The group had a great time again reading to the kids, and spending time one-on-one with them.

Dinner tonight was delicious. Quinoa and black beans and chicken, and lots of veggies. For dessert we were treated to dump cake and ice cream. As usual, we are eat well as PVs (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches included!)

Reflection tonight was a treat as well. Our talented, musical PVs took the classic “May the Circle Be Unbroken” and created PV specific verses. After the wonderful song, we were ask to share something that is classic PV for us, a memory and moment that encapsulates our idea of being a PV.

After reflection (and dessert) our two youngest PVs this week invited everyone to play a game of basketball together. They organized it and picked teams. It ended up being a lot of fun. Everyone took part either playing, cheering the teams on, or keeping score. I think there may be some sore bodies tomorrow, at least for the older ones of us who played : )

Jul 18

PV WV Summer – Week 4 Begins

There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness.  – Han Suyin

Today we began the final week of this summer’s West Virginia program. It is always a bittersweet time knowing that our time in the beautiful mountain state is coming to a close. But with that said, we still have a lot to do this week. Our volunteers for this week arrived  this Sunday coming from Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, Florida and Ohio, joining volunteers who are already here from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We are looking forward to another great week.

This morning we returned to our friends in Cabin Creek to continue to work in the laundry room and begin the little bit of work we have on the outside. Slowed by a lack of ladder, who’s arrival was delayed even longer due to an ailing PV Pick up, the group accomplished a lot. We look forward to going back tomorrow and continuing work.

We also returned to the site we began last week in Alpoca Bottom where we put on a new porch roof. We began to install a small porch roof over the back patio to help keep it clear of ice and snow when the weather gets bad. The crew made a lot of progress and are pretty much ready for the metal tomorrow.

A third home repair crew began work on a new site in Black Eagle, just up the road and conveniently located close to the DQ. Today they replayed decking and risers on a long set of steps that were beginning to rot and break a part. The group worked great together and accomplished a lot. Tomorrow we will continue there replacing some of the hand rails and scraping and painting part of the porch ceiling.

Today a group also went to Energy Express and worked with the kids. One volunteer was the guest reader, reading the kids three books and the other two volunteers helped to assemble backpacks full of donated school supplies that will be given to the kids. Each time volunteers go to Energy Express they always come back talking about what a great program it is and how wonderfully it is run. We are grateful for the opportunity to do our little part.

We had a tasty dinner tonight with lots of yummy veggies!! We had chicken and mashed potatoes, roasted vegetable and mushrooms, all with lots of fresh rosemary and garlic. Yummy! For dessert, our friend from Mullens who has been bringing us apples, instead brought us a freshly baked apple crisp and it was delicious!

Since it is the beginning of the week, reflection tonight was another chance to get to know each other a little better creating a sharing our biography poem. We also did the PV traditional “New and Good” sharing allowing everyone to talk a little bit about their day. These reflections are always a great time to come together as a community.


Jul 15

PV WV Summer – Week 3 – Friday

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. –Desmond Tutu

We wrapped up the week today working at home repair sites, as well as Energy Express and Glen Rogers Manor. We returned to the site in Cabin Creek where the volunteers focus today was on finishing painting the kitchen and getting the floor down to install the water heater for the two sisters. All the above was accomplished! We will continue to work at the site on Monday to finish up the tiling in the laundry room, the ceiling and paneling in the the living room and some work on the outside that need to finish up from last summer.

We also returned to the site in Alpoca Bottom and were able to finish up the porch roof before it started raining. It was amazing how much shade and cover from the rain it gave. We will return next week to put a cover over his back door.

We also went back to the site by Welch to put a good coating of tar on the roof to hopefully stop the rain from coming in from outside once and for all.

The crew that went to Energy Express was tasked with putting together snack bags for kids at five different locations. These bags will provide food for many kids in the area. This same crew went to Glen Rogers Manor in the afternoon to play Banana BINGO with the residents and to paint nails and chat. The volunteers had a great time with the residents.

We were treated to a great dinner tonight of meatloaf, macaroni and cheese and salad. Comfort food tastes so much better after a hard days work. But besides that, the meal was really good!!!

As every Friday night, tonight’s reflection was a time to look back on the week, our experiences and the people we met. Fridays are always bittersweet. The people we met have left an indelible mark on us and we will take them home with us when we leave.


Jul 14

PV WV Summer – Week 3 – Thursday

Show me your hands. Do they have scars from giving? Show me your feet. Are they wounded in service? Show me your heart. Have you left a place for divine love? – Fulton J Sheen

Today was another good and productive day. We did have a rain shower or two at a couple of the sites, but in general it was was a good day. Worked continued on the site in Cabin Creek. While not as many PVs were there today, a lot of progress was made. The kitchen was painted with a few touch-ups left and the laundry room floor is partially done. The PV crew there did a great job once again.

A small crew went to Energy Express in the morning to work with the kids and then afterwards went to the site out near Welch to do some finishing touches. While they were there it started to rain, and unfortunately the roof leaked a bit. It actually was good that the volunteers were there when it rained so they could see where the drip was actually coming from.

We also started a new site in Alpoca Bottom. Volunteers at the site made quick work of demolishing a leaking and weak porch roof and were able to even begin to rebuild it. While they were outside doing this, a couple of volunteers were replacing the toilet and others replacing the front door.

All the hard work was rewarded with Taco Thursday Night! Taco’s are always a great dinner and tonight did not disappoint. For dessert, individual cups of “dirt,” chocolate pudding with crushed cookies and gummy worms. Yum yum.

For tonight’s reflection we were asked to reflect on a time in our life, when looking back, we can now see God’s plan for us and how much it changed our lives.


Jul 13

PV WV Summer – Week Three – Wednesday

In a gentle way, you can shake the world. – Mahatma Gandhi

Today was a day that proved the importance of having flexibility. We were set to start a new site today, but when we showed up the home owner was not home. After knocking on several doors, we were told by a neighbor that the owner was away for the day. Plan B… The crew from that site went back to The Way to do a little bit of dinner prep for later, and then went to help out at the big site on Cabin Creek.

Our other site that was supposed to be a quick finishing job ended up needed a few more supplies then was initially thought and they had to call it a little early and they too ended up at the site on Cabin Creek.

With the majority of the volunteers at this one home repair site, a lot of work was able to be done. Most of the living room ceiling is now in place and the wall is framed out. Another crew worked at trimming the window and door, while a third tore up the flooring in the laundry room where we will be replacing the floor and water heater. Work will continue tomorrow.

The crew that went to Energy Express in the morning had a great time doing an arts and crafts project with the kids and then came home to tear up some tiles in the foyer of The Way, a project that we were asked to do while we were here this summer. While they are not all up, already it looks great.

We had a cookout for dinner tonight. Our PV who is a butcher in Minnesota brought with him ground beef so the hamburgers were made from this. We also had potato salad and baked beans. A great summer time meal that tasted oh so good.

Tonight’s reflection was centered around looking at what motivates us, and in particular, what motivates us to do service. It was wonderful to hear everyone’s thoughts.