Mission Statement: The PV Volunteers are an ecumenical community of diverse individuals. By providing a service experience in a variety of settings, we respond to human need, form relationships and encourage change and growth both in ourselves and with those we serve.

Visit our website to find out more: www.pvprogram.org

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Before reflection we had the leader of Upper Guyandotte Watershed Association talk to us about the problems with the creeks, streams and rivers and ways they are going about trying to change them. That was followed by job sites and then a reflection on a different way of looking at the Eucharistic.

This non-repair day was full of lots of wonderful activities. The camp came to a successful end with their presentation of several songs and skits. It was recorded, so hopefully we will be able to link a version to the blog.

After camp four of the kids stayed for another tutoring session. Today they were treated to a special game, a pinata with candy AND math problems.

Volunteers also kept busy during the day making runs to the dump, organizing St. Vincent DePaul and creating a making a few bed frames for the house in Pineville.

At the end of the day, several volunteers converged on Mullens Manor for a rousing game of banana bingo.

Tonights dinner is a scrumptious chili cornbread caserole. Yummy!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it's bottomless, that it doesn't have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space.

Pema Chodron

Last night for reflection we were each given a stamped envelope to reconnect with someone with whom we have lost touch with.

The weather this week continues to be wet, which makes the work rather challenging, especially roofs. We finished up in Matheny and Sabine, with rather early days. Volunteers also pretty much finished up in Bud. It was another successful and rewarding week.

A mighty group of PVs went to St. Vincent DePaul in Pineville to help organize the warehouse. Two truckloads of donations were dropped off earlier in the week, so their help was much needed and appriciated.

The Under the Sea Camp continued with hermit crab and craw daddy races, and rehearsals for the much anticipated play tomorrow. Can't wait to see the final product! Once again after camp the crew headed over to help at the Itmann Food Bank.

We are being treated tonight with a Peruvian dinner...can't wait to taste the scrumptious feast.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

Buckminster Fuller

Volunteering helps one shed their own self and become a better person. This was last night's reflection topic. After listening to a song and reading, volunteers were asked to share the traditional PV New and Good.

We only have four sites today, but a few big ones and with the rain all day it was a bit challenging. We continued with the plumbing and flooring outside of Matheny. The flooring continues to be a bit of a challenge. The home owner already had the flooring, but needs help putting it down. It is like a big, frustrating puzzle!

We also continued with the impromptu porch that we started yesterday. This site had two rain delays during the course of the day.

We started a new site a long way off our on Bud Mountain. This site had a little bit of everything going on. There was roofing, guttering, drywalling and windows.

And finally, we continued with the Under the Sea Camp. The kids are having a fabulous time. PVs remarked that this was the best day of the camp so far. Most of the camp crew headed over to the Food Bank to help organize in the afternoon.

This evening we had a few special visitors for dinner. A PV who last volunteered in 1996 who has since moved to NC brought up his wife and four of his kids to bring donations and share in dinner. For you old time, Preston County PVs, you might remember Fabio.

Speaking of dinner, tonight's dinner has been kept closely under wraps, to the point that no one, including the directors!, were allowed in the kitchen during prep time. When 6:00 rolled around, it was revealed that we were having a Jewish meal, complete with matzo ball soup, a first for many PVs. This is one of the many things I love most about this program. People are able to bring things from their own culture and life and share them with the community!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

Mahatma Gandhi

Time, it binds our life so many times, but last night we reflected on when time has stood still for us while here in West Virginia. It was wonderful to hear each volunteers moments.

Craft camp continued today with a group of special guest speakers from UGWA, to talk to the kids about water and all the life within it. We gained a few kids and as usual a wonderful time was had by all. After camp a small group of PVs stayed back for an afternoon tutoring session.

Volunteers finished up the underpinning out in Allen Junction. We have been working at this site on and off for over 4 weeks, so it is good to be "officially" finished. Volunteer also finished up out in Kopperston installing windows and painting the outside.

A roofing crew went out to Simon and finished up their site from yesterday, a site which also as been going on, on and off for 3 weeks. When finished they joined a crew in Matheny and started the roof their. The rest of the group worked on plumbing and the floor was worked on by part of the camp crew in the afternoon.

A crew also headed out to work on a ramp, but made a last minute switch to a small porch. The flexibility of volunteers is always appreciated.

Tonight for dinner we were treated to a wonderful Mexican themed food with tacos and fajitas for all!!!

Pictures from Week 5

Basketball Camp completed another successful summer. The kids had fun, the PVs had fun and the community had fun.

What would a trip to Wyoming County be without a trip to Dairy Queen

PVs spent time painting the floor at the Itmann Food Bank to try and get it back and ready for business after the fire last spring.

While we were hanging out behind the school, there was a rustle in the bushes which turned out to be an owl.

S'more night, yum yum!

Who says swinging is for kids!

S'more roasting...

PVs (and Twix) showing off the steps they built

The underpinning on the front side of the house. Notice how nicely all the lines match up. Good job!

Underpinning is sharp, gloves are highly recommended

PVs take their lunch break "on the road"

Hanging out with the family's grandchild is just as important a job as the underpinning

PVs can find a place to sleep anywhere!

The county dump is way up on top of a mountain. Many of trips have been made up there this summer. This PV sure looks like she is having some fun!

Down time and cards seem to go hand in hand in the PV community

Practicing a song for reflection. The many gifts and talents of the PVs is amazing.

Two PVs taking a little time out to put together a puzzle

This has to be one of the prettiest work sites we have had. Situated right on top of a mountain allows you to see for miles!

PVs installing a new roof on top of a house

For community day, volunteers bowled, PV style. Water bottles were set up as pins and the kickball took the place of a bowling ball. For each pin left standing you had to share something about yourself with the rest of the community.

A familiar site on summer mornings at Glen Fork Grade School

PVs helped plant trees at a demonstration rain garden at the Mullens Opportunity Center. The rain garden is being created by UGWA, the Upper Guyandotte Watershed Association.

PVs taking time out in the back of a van during a work site

This PV is using a power saw for the first time. Glad she used her safety goggles!

The official group shot of the week 5 PVs

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

Edmund Blake

I am realizing that keeping up the blog over the weekends is a daunting task. I will try and put up pictures from last week tomorrow.

Saturday we said "goodbye" to 22 volunteers and "hello" to another 22. Rarely do we lose and gain the same amount, so that was a little unusual.

For community day we stayed close to home and played a "non competitive game of kickball." Sunday was also our final orientation and commissioning of the summer. I really can't believe how fast this summer is going. There are only two more weeks of the summer program!

Today we had a full slate of projects, we think possibly the biggest number of sites going on at the same time. Today saw the beginning of the Glen Fork Craft Camp. This year's theme is "Under the Sea", bringing the ocean and all its environs to the children of Glen Fork.

We also continued and finished site where last week we put on rubberized roofing, installed doors and replaced a ceiling. The group today finished up the sanding on the ceiling and painted.

We also went back to the site in Simon to this time work on the porch roofs. The volunteers were very close to finishing, with only a couple of hours needed tomorrow.

A small group also went up to work on the under pinning at the site in Allen Junction. Besides continuing on the underpinning, a couple of PVs jumped up on the roof and applied a new layer of fiber roof coating. Probably one more day on this site.

There were two new sites today. We installed a new water pump for a man in Jesse who has been without water since December. While a couple of volunteers were working on the pump, a whole crew of PVs worked out in the yard to help the homeowner clear some brush.

The other new site was a site in Kopperston where volunteers spent time replacing a few windows and painting the outside of the house. This site will continue for a couple of days.

It looks like for dinner tonight we will be having spaghetti and garlic bread. Yummy!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wedding Pictures

As many of you know, two of our beloved PVs (Katie and Patrick) were married last weekend. Both of their families a very involved with the program, so there was a heavy dose of PV spirit at the festivities. Here are a few pictures for you to enjoy.

Friday, July 24, 2009

To care for anyone else enough to make their problems one's own, is ever the beginning of one's real ethical development.

Felix Adler

Friendship and community was the focus of our reflection last night. It was a really interactive reflection and very much a learning experience.

Today is our home repair free day, allowing PVs a chance to go out to a lot of different sites out in the community. Volunteers went to the Food Bank, Mullens Manor, St. Vincent DePaul, helped with tutoring, finished up the basketball camp and visited with old friends. As always, it was a fulfilling day for everyone.

Tonight we will say goodbye to a large group of the volunteers, 22 in all. It has been a beautiful week weatherwise and great week in PVland.

To top off our week, for dinner we will be feasting on some comfort food..."macaroni and cheese and weinies". Yum yum.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Religion is to do right. It is to love, it is to serve, it is to think, it is to be humble.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last night we reflected on joy and happiness. After a short reading and song, we went around the circle and shared a person whom we've met that represents joy and happiness to us. As always, it is great to hear everything that everyone has to share.

Today's sites went well again. In the morning it was quite cool and drizzly, but the weather held out so we were able to continue with all the projects as planned. A group continued work up in Stephenson at the beautiful site on top of a mountain. Besides the work being done there, volunteers spend plenty of time communing with nature and the animals, including three horses.

Volunteers also went back to a site in Pineville to try and solve a mysterious swamp that keeps appearing in this women's backyard. Volunteers laid a drainage pipe to hopefully change the flow of water.

The PVs also went back up to the house that we worked at last week helping with the addition. Today volunteers began underpinning the house and added front steps. It continues to be a pleasure to work with the family.

Basketball camp was in its second to last day. The kids (and volunteers) are learning a lot of new basketball skills that will be put to the test on Friday!

Dinner tonight is a yummy mostacholi dish, garlic bread and caesar salad. We have been eating well all summer!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A religious man is a person who holds God and man in one thought at one time; at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair.

Abraham Joshua Heschel

We are almost caught up on here. I hope you enjoyed the pictures from last week

Last night for reflection we reflected on ordinary miracles, much like how a kernel of corn yields so much more. Each person was given a kernel of corn and we went around the room and shared a new and good from the day and an ordinary miracle from the day. I think there will be many corn stalks growing across America from this reflection.

We finished the site in Lynco today, Yippeee!!! We started this site last Thursday, so it is good to put it into the finished file.

All the other sites continued and will continue into tomorrow. The PVs have done a tremendous job at each site and have enjoyed to get to know the home owners.

Basketball camp also continued today and continues to be fun for all, kids and PVs alike!

Dinner tonight was tacos for the meat eaters and Lebonese beans for the vegeterians. Yum yum.

Week 4 - Pictures

Meal time in the PV Community. The eatings sure have been good this summer!

Puzzles, lots and lots of puzzles. The competitiveness of the PVs has come through. Everyone wants to be the person who puts the last piece in. Too bad every puzzle we have has pieces missing : )

Community day was a hike to the beautiful Twin Falls. Here a adventurous group sits right next to the falls.

The short hike to the falls allowed the community to catch up, and/or get to know each other.

The official week 4 group shot. If you are wondering what is up with the second row, I think they are trying to spell PV with their hands

After a lot of hard work from the PVs, this lot is ready for their new trailer.

The Glen Fork Soccer Camp got underway this week. We were excited to have a record turnout of 24 local kids. Soccer is taking over the world : )

The painting, drywalling site in Long Branch. This room, with the bright yellow paint were told is going to have a Tahitian theme.

A little electrical work needed to be done as well

In Pineville, PVs worked on a porch roof as well as the porch floor below. The crew on the roof at an interesting view on what was going on below.

The family we worked with outside of Mullens generously hosted a cookout for the volunteers who worked on their house.

The completed project

The site about a week into working

The site toward the beginning of the PVs time there

At soccer camp, the kids playing Monster

A small crew helped put on some steps at a local house

There is always time for a little meditation at a site....

This family only had a concrete floor in their kitchen. PVs are building up the floor and putting down tile.

PVs working on the porch, replacing boards.