Jul 29

Celebrating a Great Week

The volunteers wrapped up their week with quite an eventful final day. They were able to finish painting the back porch to wrap up that site (yay!). They installed the shower doors at the bathroom site (yay again!) and actually went to a third site to do a few odds and ends like tightening fan blades and getting an outlet to work again. While they were small things, the home owner was thrilled!

After the sites, the volunteers returned back to the church to begin to prepare to host a community dinner. The community dinner was a tradition the PVs started the first year we stayed at Mullens United Methodist church. We invite any and all would like to share a meal to come. Well this year proved to be a it challenging. In the midst of preparing the meal, Mullens lost power. Luckily with the help of someone with a generator the rest of the food was cooked, and the help of a bunch of candles the church was lit and the meal could go on. This gathering on the final night has become a highlight for the volunteers. The power ended up coming back on around 11pm, so at least in the morning when people were packing up to leave they had light.

We are so thankful for the volunteers who spent the week in WV and carried on the PV tradition. The presence of the PVs as a whole spans not only the 50 years in total, but this was the 25th year in Wyoming County. It is a presence that has a lasting legacy. The site this summer that we did the work in the bathroom had a connection to PVs serving more than 21 years ago. When Tricia and Dan checked the site out at the beginning of the week they were talking to the home owner. She was mentioning how there were fewer volunteer groups coming in and doing work. She told them a group came in and worked on her dad’s house after the flood, the “passionate volunteers” and the family had such a positive experience with them and that she missed them. Of course Dan and Tricia got excited and said “that’s us!” What a great full circle moment and example of the presence of the PVs.

Thank you Tricia, Logan, Dan, Lucy, Bob, Bernie, Ed, Peggy and our newest PV Sue for representing the PVs with grace and love this week. Thank you also to Arnie and Kathy and St. Vincent dePaul for your support of the the program this week and always. And lastly a special thank you to Donna and the Mullens United Methodist community for opening up your doors to us and giving us a wonderful place to call home. It takes a village to keep this program going.

Jul 27

Thursday Shenanigans

Another great day for the volunteers. It is hard to believe it is already Thursday. Wonderful progress was made at both sites today. At the porch site, the front porch was given a fresh coat of paint while the back porch was sanded in preparation for painting. The volunteer also did a few little items around the house that the homeowner asked if she could get help with. In the pictures below you can see a before and after of the beautiful porch.

The other site also made great progress today. The toilet, sink and shower were installed, but we are still waiting for the doors to the shower. They are supposed to arrive by tomorrow so we can put them in and everything should be working. We were hoping to get to the flooring that the owner already had, but unfortunately we won’t have enough time to install that.

For any of you who have ever volunteered with the PVs, you will be happy to know the tradition of breakfast for dinner continued tonight. All the guys prepared the dinner for the group, so of course the gals did the cleanup.

For reflection tonight Bernie shared about her prayer shawl ministry she does with her church back home and then ask the community to share how God showed themselves to us and/or how God was shown through us.

After dinner the volunteers celebrated the big 5-0 anniversary the PVs are celebrating this year with decorations and in true PV fashion a DQ ice cream cake decorated for the occasion. There is a picture below of the group with the cake that was taken by a drone that a volunteer brought down….. aren’t the PVs getting fancy. No more Jenny and Jill with 20 cameras like the olden days.

Jul 26

Wednesday Going-Ons

PVs went back to both their sites today. At the porch site they were able to attach the newly made gate which opened and closed perfectly! They were also able to fix the steps that needed repair and with the help of an electric sander and one very dedicated young volunteer, sanded the whole porch so it will be ready to paint tomorrow. This site is out in the Sunday and gets very hot by the afternoon, so they called it an early day.

The bathroom site continued to move along. Re-plumbing an entire room and basically redoing everything in it, takes a bit of time and a lot of patience. It ended up being a long day for the “bathroom crew,” as such the group decided to move their dinner out in Mullens up to today instead of Thursday.

The group decided to try a new restaurant in town, the Rusted Musket. They were joined by Donna and Melinda and Courtney, big time part of the PVs via the Mullens soccer camp. Sounded like the food was great. Between a late day at the sites, hot weather and a good meal volunteers were beat and headed pretty much right to bed : ) We did hear that the volunteers had a nice facetime call with longtime PVs, the Poirer family, who were in Kentucky volunteering in the areas recovering from tornadoes.

Jul 25

Hooray for Tuesday

From all reports today was a good day in PV land. The crew split up into 2 groups, one going to each site. The group that yesterday spent most of their time scraping the porch, today built a beautiful gate for the fence. Tomorrow the group’s attention will go back to the porch, continue scraping, fixing the steps and maybe begin painting.

The other site continued to make progress in the bathroom. Most of what needed to be torn out has been and the rebuilding has begun. There was a slight change of where the plumbing needed to go, but plumbing is never predictable. The home owner had mentioned that her roof was leaking in a couple of places, and unfortunately we don’t have the time to replace the roof, but Ed jumped up on the roof and tarred a few places that looked liked they might be leaking. Even though she was hoping for a new roof, the home owner was thrilled.

Because I know you all want to know what the volunteers ate for dinner… tonight’s main course was chicken with Peggy’s homemade pesto sauce with basil from her garden that she brought with her.

Reflection’s focus’ was about self awareness. The volunteers were asked to reflect on a volunteer experience that helped them realize something about themselves. Nightly reflections are such an important part of the PV experience and helps build a close community.

Jul 24

Getting Started

As many of you know, the first day at any site is a lot of figuring out a game plan and getting everything you need. This week the volunteers are working at two different sites in Bud, not far from the home base in Mullens. One site is for a women who needed her porch steps repaired, the porch scraped and painted and the group will be making a gate so the yard can been fenced off to allow the dogs a safe place roam. Today they began scraping, which in not the most fun of tasks.

The other site, right up the road is for a young mother and her two children, one of whom is a special needs child. Both the child and the mom have upcoming surgeries and they need all the help they can get. Since we are only there for a week we had to choose a focus. In consultation with the home owner we decided to focus on the bathroom. The floor needs to be torn out and and new pretty much everything needs to be installed. Today the volunteers started to tear out the floor and make a game plan for everything else.

After a long day (and maybe a trip to DQ I heard) they went back to the church to share the evening activities. First, a scrumptious taco Monday dinner and then reflection. The sharing for the evening was to talk about a movie that reminds them of the experience in West Virginia. Sounds like there were a lot of good movies shared, and perhaps some new movies to watch in the future.

With all the set up happening at the sites, there weren’t a lot of pictures taken, so we will leave you with one taken today, that is very similar to many taken over the years…… PVs playing with cats/dogs at the sites. Anyone need a kitten? They are looking for homes : )

Jul 23

PVs Have Arrived

We are happy to report everyone arrived safely to the PVs home base in Mullens at the United Methodist Church. Special thank you to Tricia, Dan and Lucy for getting there a little early to help set up the sites and welcome everyone as they came. Once everyone arrived and got settled, the crew started their week by sharing a meal together. After the meal they gathered for the traditional PV Commissioning Service and to hear about the sites that they will be working on for the week. Stay tuned for more about their projects….

Jul 17

PVs Are Back in Action Again

It has been a minute, but a group of PV volunteers are headed back down to Wyoming County, West Virginia next week to continue the tradition that began 50 years ago. For those of us that can’t join them, we will be able to follow along here on the site. So please start checking back in next week!

Jul 22

It Is the Whole Experience

The volunteers wrapped up a successful week in West Virginia last Saturday. We highlighted a little bit of what they did at their home repair site already, but that is just one piece of their week. They also helped a local woman pack for a big move and they did numerous projects around the church, including replacing ceiling tiles and fixing sticky drawers and cabinets throughout.

The PV experience is not just service though, it is one of community and reflection. The group shared meals together each night and reflected on their days together. There was also fun and games, with card games and family feud, morning walks around Mullens and of course trips to Dairy Queen. On the final evening the volunteers hosted a community meal, inviting people from the church and from the local community.

We wanted to give a big thank you to Mullen United Methodist Church for hosting and Donna for being a wonderful presence with the volunteers. Also thank you to St. Vincent dePaul for their help and allowing us to use your van. And finally, a huge thank you to the volunteers who chose to take a chance and volunteer in this new version of the PVs. The week wouldn’t have happened if you all did not make that choice to “be a part of it.” And finally, a special thank you to Tricia for taking on the roll of point person and keeping everything rolling smoothly.

Jul 15

It is the little things that make a difference

The PVs have always made it a point of emphasis in doing the smaller, but necessary jobs when it comes to home repair. This weeks volunteers are doing this to great effect, continue to do great things this week, in little ways. At the site they were able to patch two ceilings and two floors. Seemingly small jobs, but ones that will make a huge difference to the life of the home owner. She no longer has to avoid walking in certain areas of her house, or worry about parts of the ceiling coming down. The volunteers took it a step further though and added a coat of mildew blocking paint to the ceiling, which not only made it look fresh and clean, but will help keep her healthy. While working on the floor in the living room they noticed her front door didn’t open very well. She told them it hadn’t used in awhile because of it. Of course it took just a little finesse (and know how) and now it opens and closes smoothly, giving her not only the freedom to walk out her front door and use her front porch, but the safety of know she has two exits in case of an emergency. Small things that make a big difference…..

Jul 12

Monday and Tuesday from West Virginia

The volunteers have been hard at work the last couple days in Wyoming County. They have been working out on Welch Pineville road for a woman who has been dealing with a leaking roof for many years. She was able to get a new roof last week so the volunteers are working inside to repair ceilings and floors that were water damaged. Of course it hasn’t been all work. They have enjoyed their community at Mullens Methodist Church and even went to 2nd Street diner for dinner tonight.