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

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Think of giving not as a duty but as a privilege."  John D. Rockefeller

Thanks to a former pig farmer and his wife, last night we were asked to reflect on control using the symbol of a nose ring that they used to use on pigs to stop them from digging and therefore control them.  It was a very poignant symbol and lead to a wonderful reflection on when we or someone we've met has no control and how that feels.

Today for job sites, most of the group went back and continued to work on the two flood houses.  It is really amazing how much progress has been made on both houses.  They are starting to look great.  One of the home owners was also able to show a FEMA representative the damage that was done to her house in hopes of receiving some assistance.

Another group of volunteers stayed back at the school this morning to tutor some local children.  It seems like the kids, and the volunteers for that matter, are really enjoying themselves.  The kids are getting some one on one attention and making great strides in academics.

Tonight for dinner we are being treated with homemade lasagna and fresh baked bread.  Sometimes we feel pretty spoiled....

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action."  Peter F. Drucker

Last evening for reflection we were asked to reflect on connecting with other people and connections that we are able to make while we are here in West Virginia.  We went around the room and shared a special connection that we have had with someone we have met during our service as PVs.  As always it was wonderful to hear everyone's sharing.

Today we headed out in a little cooler weather, but definetly a bit more humid.  Two crews went up to the flood houses to continue work.  Lots of drywalling, sanding, framing for underpinning and flooring were done. It is really amazing to see everything come together on both these houses.  Knowing that PVs all summer will have a hand in fixing up these houses adds to the specialness of the project.

Another dedicated group headed out to the Food Bank again today to continue sorting, organizing and putting away items.  From all reports everything looks beautiful and ready to go for distribution.

This evening for dinner we continued a PV tradition of many of the PV men (with the help of Charlotte) making breakfast for dinner for all the PVs.  Pancakes, eggs, sausage and bacon. how could you go wrong with that one?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers."  M. Scott Peck

A new day, a new week... Today we sent a crew out to the Itmann Food Bank to finish organizing all the stuff that came in last week, as well as unloading a truck of food and additional van brought down by a volunteer.  The Food Bank is look wonderful and ready for distribution.

We also sent two crews out to Hanover to continue work on houses damaged in the flood.  We continued on the one we primarily worked on last week and continued to work on the house next door that a fellow volunteer group had been working on.  We will be working on both they housed for quite awhile.

The big excitement of day was that we had a three hour power outage due to a fire at a transformer on Bolt Mountain.  It was a bit of an incovenience, but everyone got out their flashlights and kept on like troopers.  Luckily the dinner that was planned was going to be cooked on the grill, so no changes in dinner needed to be done. The lights came back on right as we were about to start dinner, a hot dog feast with all the fixings, corn on the cob and other yummy goodies.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Another beautiful, yet hot day in Wyoming County.  As with PV tradition, Sunday is reserved for community building and bonding.  After attending a nice Mass at Holy Cross Church in Pineville, volunteers gathered back at the school to spend some time together as a group.  We have asked our summer long PVs to plan each Sundays activities and they have yet to disappoint.  Today we went around and shared our name, where we are from and one fact about us.  The next person shared their information, but then had to share everyone before them as well.  By the end of the circle it was quite a memory test I must say!  After learning a bit about each other we moved to the gym for a competitve game of whiffle ball. OK it wasn't so competitive, but was certainly entertaining to watch.
The relaxing day ended with a cookout and a short reflection and commisioning welcoming the newly arrived PVs.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

"One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade."  Chinese Proverb

Last night for reflection we were presented with the idea of God's calling, service and our presence in West Virginia.  For sharing we were asked to share how we started volunteering with the PVs and why we keep coming back.  It was a wonderful way for us to remember why we do what we do and and ground us in who we are as PVs.

Fridays in PVland are a day to focus on all the activities other than home repair.  It is a great way to connect with social service agencies in the area, connect one on with with individuals and try a great variety of activities.  But before everyone headed out for the day, we all did our part to make the school sparkle and shine with our weekly cleaning.  Although not the most fun thing to do, I am always amazed at how beautiful the school looks after the cleaning is done.

As for service activities, the second day of tutoring was another great success, all five kids from Wednesday returned and a fun time was had by all.  We also wrapped up with the Mullens Soccer Camp with another fun, HOT day on the pitch.  A special thank you to Zach for giving up his time and running the camp for the week for the seventh year.  Volunteers also continued to help organize at the Itmann Food Bank all the items that came in on the trucks during the week.  Volunteers also spent time visiting with folks they have met through the years.

One new and exciting project that began today was a new PV Home Repair class at St. Vincent DePaul.  Out of a suggestion at the Midwest Reunion, we decided to try and provide of service to the people of the county by having volunteers share some of the home repair skills that they have learned throughout the time as PVs.  Today's class was the first and focused on the parts of a toilet and how to make minor repairs.  We were very pleased that we had three local people show up for the class.  We are hoping it will gain momentum as the summer goes on.

We are getting ready to feast on a wonderful Mexican feast!  Ole!

It has really been a tremendous first week.  We were able to get a lot accomplished, but more importantly we have met some wonderful people.  What a great way to start the summer program!  We will try and post some pictures tomorrow...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these."
George Washington Carver

Last night we were asked to reflect on our connections as PVs.  The focal point of the reflection was a beautiful rainbow striped afghan the Lucy created to raffle off.  It was wonderful to hear all the many ways the PVs have touched each other and connected with each other.

Volunteers continued today to work out in Hanover, at Soccer Camp and at St. Vincent DePaul. Saturday we will post pictures show the progression of work at the the Hanover site, the kids and fun at soccer camp and the hard work organizing and unloading trucks at St. Vincent DePaul and the Itmann Food Bank.

Dinner tonight was a wonderful medley of marinated chicken and veggie patties, baked potatoes and sweet potatoes, veggies and topped off with a delicious apple spice cake.  Yummy!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials."  Lin Yutang

We ended last evening with a beautiful reflection on how bad things that happen to us so often turn into a suprisingly good thing.  There was a heartfelt sharing of some of these examples from our own lives as well as good things from the day. The PV community gathering together at the end of the day is really a special and blessed time.

This morning we woke up to a little more cloud cover than we have had the last couple of days and even a little bit of rain that later turned into torrential downpours at differenct points in different parts of the county.

Today we continued on with the flood site and with soccer camp. These two sites are lasting all week and a lot of volunteers are involved.  Every volunteer is doing a wonderful job and are continuing to give their love, sweat and tears to people they are encountering.

Today we also started the Glen Fork Summer Tutoring program.  We were very happy to have 5 kids show up for the first day.  This is the biggest first day of PV Tutoring history!  It shows the importance of continuity and building on each summer.  This first day would not have been so successful with each and every tutoring program of the last 5 years.

Tonight we have a school full of tired, but satisfied volunteers eagerly awaiting a comforting meal of ham and macaroni and cheese.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday June 22, 2010

"Charity begins at home and justice begins next door."   Charles Dickens

Today was another hot, sweltering day in southern West Virginia. As always, volunteers were troopers and battled through the heat.  (Dairy Queen at the end of the day doesn't hurt either.)

We had three sites going on today.  A large group of volunteers headed back to the flood damaged trailor that they were working on yesterday.  More framing for the underpinning was completed, drywall and mudding was done and many other much needed odds and ends.

Soccer camp continued today.  The heat out on the field was almost unbearable, but the kids and the volunteers continued to play and learn the "beautiful game."

The last group of volunteers headed out to St. Vincent DePaul to help organize the warehouse and unload a truck of housewares that were then moved to the Itmann Food Bank.

We are all looking forward to a yummy dinner of "Nancy's Chicken Casserole", a meal that has become an annual PV tradition.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory."   Betty Smith

Happy West Virginia Day!

The first work day of the 2010 PV Program was a sweltering one, with temperatures in the 90's.  Today also marked the first day of the Mullens Soccer Camp.  In it's seventh summer, the soccer camp is a well established part of the summer for the folks in Mullens.  Not only were new soccers skills learned, but a time was spent in a sprinkler to cool down.

We also sent a large crew up to Hanover to work on a trailer that was damaged in the severe flooding last weekend.  The trailor was brought in last winter after the orignal trailor was washed away duing the May 2009 flood.  Both the Northern Illinois University Spring Break trip and the TGIA break trip worked on the house this spring.  Although some their work was damaged, the summer PVs stepped right in to fix and continue the work.  This site will be going on for a large part of the summer, as well as addition flood relief work.

We also sent a small crew over to our year round headquarters in Pineville to do much needed yard work and a straightening up around the house.  This site is not the most glamorous site, but is very important to us.

For dinner tonight we enjoyed a feast of spaghetti and meatballs, salad and homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Yummy, yummy!

For the first reflection we asked to reflect on embracing the unknown, and the gifts that that brings to use.  After a wonderful sharing of the "new and the good," volunteers chose their sites for the next day and then relaxed as the evening drew to a close.

2010 PV Summer Program Has Begun!

This weekend marks the kick off of another PV Summer in West Virginia.  As usual, the first weekend has been a little busy.  Volunteers started arriving on Saturday, and today we did a series of get to know you community activities.  After a yummy dinner cook out, we gathered everyone to go over a few reminders and then had our traditional commissioning prayer service and jobsites for Monday.

It is our plan to post daily to this blog so the experience can be shared far and wide.  Please keep everyone in your thoughts and prayers.