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, September 21, 2012

One Week Left to RSVP

Just a reminder that October 1st is the deadline for RSVPing for the PV Evaluation/Reunion Weekend being held on October 13-14 in New Jersey. If you plan on coming please let us know so we, and our hosts, can plan accordingly.

October 1st is also the deadline to have your summer evaluations and general program surveys complete. We would appreciate it if you would take a few moments to complete these, they help us in planning for future programs.

Thank You!

Monday, September 17, 2012

PV Volunteers Generosity

We are compiling the information from the in-kind forms submitted by volunteers this summer, and are once again struck by your tremendous generosity to the PVs. Whether it be your time, your talent, supplies, food, etc.; because of you, the program continues. In total, the value of your in-kind donations was $67,239.55! Not only is this impressive to us, we can use this information when submitting for grants. Thank You!

Please find below a summary of volunteer in-kind donations from this summer.

Volunteer Donated Hours, Miles and Supplies:

Professional Hours Donated:

337.75 Professional Hours @ various rates =$9,690.50

Summer Volunteers*:

Volunteer Hours:                     2,086.5 @ $21.79 = $45,465.05

Mileage:                                  43,123 mi @ $0.14 = $6,037

Volunteer Donated Items:
(Food, School Supplies,
Camp Items, Home Repair Supplies,
Travel, Household, Gas, Misc)                       Total:   $6,047

Total Value of Volunteer’s In-Kind Donations:            $67,239.55

* As reported from returned In-Kind Forms (not all returned)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September PV E-Newsletter

 The latest edition of the PV E-Newsletter is out! If you would like to receive the monthly e-newsletter keeping you up-to-date of all the PV happenings, please contact us at pvprogram@gmail.com and we would be happy to put you on the mailing list.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

PV Fall Evaluation/Reunion Weekend

You are invited!!!
2012 Fall PV Evaluation/Reunion Weekend
October 13-14 on the New Jersey Shore

We are once again, generously being hosted for the weekend by PVs Jo Welter and Wayne Berning. If you have never been before, the weekend is a wonderful opportunity to catch up with fellow PVs, talk about this past summer and plan for next summer. More importantly, it is our hope that it will give you a chance to step back from your busy lives, reconnect with your PV family and feel refreshed when it is time to depart.

Saturday will be spent at Jo’s house in Bradley Beach going over the evaluations and talking about ways to improve the program. And of course since we will be at Jo’s, we are sure to be well fed and if the weather is nice we can the short walk down to the beach. After we wrap up activities at Jo’s, we will be heading a couple of miles down the road to Wayne’s house for what is always a wonderful evening of food, fun and fellowship.

If you would like to come, please RSVP to us no later than October 1st so that our hosts can plan accordingly. When you RSVP you can also let us know if you would like accommodations for the weekend. And remember, it doesn’t matter to us if you volunteered this past summer, we would still love to see you!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Unplugging and Reconnecting

"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. "
John Burroughs

As I sit on the eve of an extended Labor Weekend getaway to the mountains with family, I am getting excited to get away from computers, from phones and from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  Sound familiar??? This is a sentiment that I hear time, and time again each summer while volunteers are in West Virginia. We have limited internet access, no cell phone access and are literally forced, in the most beautiful way, to talk and to listen to each other. We enjoy each others company, playing games together, getting to know each, communing with nature, and in general slowing down. We have heard many times from volunteers that their volunteer experience is like a retreat, a chance to step back and reflect on life and realize what is most important. It is essential to have these moments in our lives. For some it may not be in nature, but on a quiet subway ride or in the company of a close friend. I think the important part is to have these moments and to grateful in these moments.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Back to School Shopping - Support the PVs

It is back to school time and for a lot people this means it is time to shop. This year think about helping the PVs while you are doing your shopping by signing up for iGive. Every time you shop at any of the 1,000+ online stores in the iGive network, a portion of the money you spend benefits PV Volunteers. It's a free service, and you'll never pay more when you reach a store through iGive. In fact, smart shoppers will enjoy iGive's repository of coupons, free shipping deals, and sales. To get started, just create your free iGive account.

Right Click: Save Picture As

Monday, August 27, 2012

New Collaboration in Wyoming County

We wanted to share with you an exciting new collaborative project in the works for the summer of 2013.  This past summer, we met with leaders of the Wyoming County Economic Development Office to discuss new ways in which the PVs can be of service to the county. The director, Christy Laxton, told us of the plans for the upcoming Reaching the Summit Community Service Initiative.  Next summer, the annual Boy Scout Jamboree will be held in southern West Virginia.  During their stay, the boys will be involved in numerous service activities.  Over fifty such projects will take place in Wyoming County. Ms. Laxton asked if the PVs could help with overseeing a few of the projects and offering some home repair expertise.  We are lucky to have to so many skilled volunteers that can provide such assistance at various sites throughout the county.

 In August, a meeting was held in Pineville to plan for the upcoming event.  After attending the meeting, and hearing about some of the planned service projects,we are even more excited about being involved with this venture. Also attending the meeting, was a woman many of us got to know this summer. She lived across the street from a site where we were working. This woman, graciously extended hospitality to all the volunteers who served at this site.  She let us use her weed whacker, her electricity, and her bathroom. It seemed whatever we needed she had. All who met her were impressed with her can do attitude. So I was not surprised to see her once again chipping in to serve the people in her community.

On a side note,  you will be happy to hear that during the meeting, the PVs were praised for our efforts this summer at the school house in Itmann.  So many volunteers worked tirelessly at this historic building and that hard work was recognized and praised by community leaders.  So thank you again to all the PVs for your work this summer.

Friday, August 24, 2012

WEB Celebrates 9 Years in Brooklyn

This year marks the 9th anniversary of the beginning of WEB, the young womens empowerment group in Brooklyn. So much has changed over the last nine years, including their name. Originally the group was called TGIA (Teen Girls in Action), but as several of the members began reaching their twenties it was decided to come up with a more inclusive name, WEB (Women Empowering Brooklyn.) We could not be ,more proud as we have watched these young ladies grow. They have all graduated high school or received their GED, one has received her two year college degree, several others are working toward their degrees, some are still in high school, and a couple have become proud and loving mothers. Many in the group have come down to West Virginia to volunteer their time and they all have been counselors or junior counselors at our PEACE camp in Brooklyn. These young women are looked upon as leaders and mentors to the younger females in their neighborhood. And most impressively, they continue to stay connected with WEB and the PVs.  We are proud of you ladies!!!

A big thank you to Tricia, Patti and Rocco for your continued dedication to the group, facilitating the meetings and keeping the whole thing together!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A little inspiration...

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Reed 

Not a lot of news going on in PVland, so I thought I would go with one of my favorite quotes and one that I think is so true of the PV Volunteers. With everything going on in the world these days it can be a little overwhelming, wanting to help, but not knowing were to start. You want to reach out and make a difference, but feel like what one person can do is so little. One person, or a small group of persons, can make a huge difference. I think the PVs are evidence of that, not only in WV and Brooklyn, but in their own communities back home. You are all an inspiration!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer Program Volunteers

Yesterday we talked about what the volunteers did during the summer program, today we wanted to share who these volunteers were.  This summer we had 101 volunteers come and join in the efforts of the PVs. These PVs represented 18 different states and ranged in age from four to 80 years old. Twenty-six volunteers came as individuals, while 75 came part of a couple or family. To be completely transparent, we should say that two of the volunteers who came as individuals got engaged while they were in WV, so when they come back they will be changing categories. Congratulations again Rob and Rebecca!

One of the interesting things about the PV Community is the diversity in the group. Not only do the volunteers come from all over the country, but they represent many walks of life. Just to list a few: farmer, lawyer, architect, teacher, engineer, student, nurse, stay at  home parent, business owner, editor, songwriter, performer, counselor, coach, retiree, mechanic, zoo keeper. Imagine being able to sit down each night and have conversations and laughs with such a group. It is one of the things that makes the PV community so unique!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer Program Accomplishments

Have you been wondering what all the PVs did this summer in West Virginia? Quite a bit would be the answer. Here is summary of this summer's activities:

Home Repair
·         28 homes in need of emergency repair. 

Children’s Educational/Recreational Activities
·         Children’s recreational camp in Hanover
·         Two Soccer camps in Mullens
·         Two Basketball camps in Hanover
·         Sports camp in Hanover

Adult Programs
·         Weekly activity program at Glen Rogers Manor and Mullens Manor.
·         Visited elderly and homebound.

Social Service Agencies and Advocacy
·         Staffed the Itmann Food Bank.
·         Assisted at St. Vincent De Paul in Pineville.
·         Assisted the Upper Guyandotte 
      Watershed Assoc.

 Special Projects
·         Collaborated with UGWA and Groundworks on redesigning and rehabbing old school in Itmann into office space and visitor center/museum.
·         Donated computers and school supplies for students at Huff Consolidated Grade School.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Fall Evaulation and Reunion Weekend

Mark your calendars! The date has been set for the fall Evaluation and Reunion weekend for the PVs. This year it will be the weekend of October 13 and 14, and will once again be graciously hosted by Jo and Wayne in Bradley Beach, NJ and Wall, NJ respectively.

The weekend is always a wonderful time to reconnect with your PV family and talk about the summer and the Program. More information will be coming soon via email.

We hope to see you there!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Help us get to 100 "Likes" on Facebook

Over the summer we saw quite an increase in "likes" on our Facebook page, but we have been at 86 likes for awhile now. If you are on Facebook and haven't "liked" us, please do and encourage family and friends to do the same. Lets get us over 100 by the end of the weekend!

It is our hope that through our Facebook, PV Blogs and our Twitter account we can share important and interesting information about the PVs, as well as info about our service areas. If you haven't been to our Twitter and Facebook pages we encourage you to do so. All you have to do is click the links to the right -> -> ->

We have directly linked our blog to both of these sites, so any updates here will appear will appear on both our twitter feed and on Facebook. If you "like" us Facebook, you will be alerted any new posts here.

 Spread the word, share the love!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer Fundraisers Totals

Those of you who were with us in West Virginia this summer know we had quite a few little fundraisers going on during the program. Now that the summer is wrapped wanted to share with you how they all went. In total from these activities, $641 was raised for the PVs. We find this quite incredible! Some highlights from these fundraisers:

A handmade stained glass was donated to the PVs to put up for silent auction throughout the summer. The final and winning bid was $151! Congratulations Bernice on your new stained glass!

A new campaign called "Change for Change," asking volunteers to drop any pocket change they had into a bucket, was also very successful. When all the pennies, nickles, dimes and quarters (and even a dollar coin) were counted at the end of the summer, just over $125 was raised. Not bad for a little pocket change!

The last two weeks of the program we also did a split the pot raffle. Both winners generously donated their halves back to the program, so that the program made $150 from the two raffles. Thank you Chuck and Michele!

We also were able to raffle off a handmade afghan made by Lucy, sell previous summers t-shirts, as well as cookbooks and 35 years books.  All in we were very pleased with all the donations. Thank you to all who contributed either an item or by donation.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Catching Up - Live with Passion

Now that the summer program has finished, and we have caught up on some much needed rest, we will be catching you up with several blog posts over the next few days.

The first thing to check out, I just posted pictures from three different Live with Passion events to the LWP blog. If you get a chance take a look at the pictures from the Reading, PA, Clark, NJ and Brooklyn, NY events, and all the cities if you haven't already. It always amazes me the amount of people involved in this fundraiser throughout the country.

 This year we ended up raising $14,250!! Thank you all for the support. we couldn't do it without you!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Week 6 Pictures

As always, a sampling of pictures from the final week of the summer program. More can be found on our facebook page.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

"Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture."
Kak Sri

Today marked the end of the 2012 PV Summer Program. The day was spent moving all our stuff to the St. Vincent DePaul building in Pineville for storage. SVdP, as always, was very generous giving us a few spaces to put everything. Volunteers worked very hard with the moving and the cleaning of the school.

After all the cleaning was done we treated the volunteers to pizza. We had already packed our plates, bowls, and the like, so pizza was perfect!

For our final closing service of the summer we played the Garth Brooks song "The River," and talked about how our experience is much like a river with rapids, tide, bends, smooth sailing, etc. Volunteers shared a moment when their ride was exhilarating.

As a special treat after reflection we watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics together. A nice way to end the summer.

Pictures for the week won't be up right away due to travel, but look for them soon!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

"I many not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."
Douglas Adams

Today was another hot and humid day in Wyoming County. The crew that went to finish the roof tried to get there as soon as possible and to work to get it done before the heat became unbearable. Just as they were putting the last screws in the heat started to get to them.

We sent a group to continue drywalling at The Way and another group to the Itmann School House to continue with all the projects there. We knew going into both of these projects that they would not be completed this summer, but the work the volunteers did was tremendous and much appreciated by the local agencies that we worked with.

Another group went to St. Vincent DePaul to help clean out the warehouse a bit and make it easier for the big move tomorrow.

The final group stayed back at the school to run the camps. The morning sports camp was WhiffleBall (baseball being way too dangerous inside). Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. In the afternoon the group did two crafts, played a game and read a story.

Dinner this evening was a repeat of the dinners from the week trying to finish up the leftovers. In addition, to try and use up the eggs there was an egg, cheese and potato casserole. Everything was delicious, yet again.

Reflection tonight focused on the tools we use each and every day as PVs. We were given a "tool," everything from a hammer to soccer ball to represent the tools we as PVs use. We were asked to share a tool we used and its significance. The reflection closed with the group singing "If I Had a Hammer."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
Howard Thurman

Another great day in PVland. Volunteers were spread out throughout the county at three different home repair sites and camps. The volunteers headed back to Ravencliffe to work on the roof and finishing up inside. The roof made for hot afternoon, but all the rubber was laid down and now the metal trimming is all that it is left to do.

A group of volunteers returned to the Itmann School House to continue with the dry-walling.  They also moved the stage to other room that will eventually be a museum and visitors center and begun work on a ramp coming in from the back door.

Another group went to work at The Way youth center in Mullens. The building has made a great strides since last summer. They have opened to work with kids, but they still need some help with some finishing touches.

The final site for the day were the camps. The morning sports camp was soccer. None of the kids had played soccer before, but by the end of the two hours you would have never known it, they were great! In the afternoon camp the kids read a couple of stories and did some group dances.

Dinner tonight was a delicious lasagne, salad and garlic bread. Everything was fabulous! For dessert after reflection, we had chocolate chip cookies and ice cream. Yummy!

This evenings reflection was all around the idea that many things and many people have rough edges, but once you get to know them they are a gem. We were asked to talk about someone we have met that fits that description.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"To love. To be love. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget."
Arundhati Roy

Today's big challenge was rain, rain and more rain. Even though there was only a 30% chance of rain today, it pretty much rained on and off (mostly on) all day throughout the county, at all the sites.

Volunteers went back to the site in Pineville and finished up with the stairs and the window. They pretty much to dodge rain all day, but were able to complete the project. The homeowner was very pleased with all the work that had been done.

We also finished the site on top of the mountain that we started last week. The rest of the kitchen tile was laid and the last bit of guttering was finished. The kitchen looks gorgeous and the owner was very pleased with all the work the volunteers did over the days.

Work also continued at the site in Ravencliffe where volunteers were doing flooring and roofing. Because of the rain not much was done on the roof, but the flooring is pretty much completed. Tomorrow we will continue with laying in the rubber roof and start to put up the metal stripping around the outside of the trailer.

A group went back to the Itmann School House to continue work there. A lot of drywall was hung and some framing was done. After the rain slowed a bit volunteers went outside to pull up the knot-weed that was growing back in the front.

The final group of PVs stayed back at the school for camp. The morning sports camp spotlight was on basketball today. The kids learned a lot of new skills and had a lot of fun in the process of learning. After sharing lunch together, the volunteers and the kids had their afternoon day camp. Today the kids made tube people puppets, played kickball and had a puppet show. By all accounts it was a fun, but tiring day.

By the time dinner rolled around everyone was hungry and ready for a good meal. Tonight's menu was a pasta bake, rolls and a salad. For dessert we had no bake cookies and homemade ice cream. We certainly never go hungry here....

Tonight's reflection focused on the idea of an earthen vessel and brokenness. How when we are broken and cracked it allows things to flow through us and from us. The reflection tied very nicely into the PV Vision statement and the lie about "embracing our brokenness and the brokenness of others."

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stained Glass Auction Update

The bidding for the Stained Glass will be closed at 7:45pm on Thursday. 

The current bid stands at $151. 
If you are interested in putting in a bid please email us at pvprogram@gmail.com

Monday, July 23, 2012

"I do not understand the mystery of grace -- only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us."
Anne Lamott

Driving away from the school this morning was absolutely breathtaking. Mist and clouds were settled into the valleys between the mountains, but the sun was shining down through the clouds. It was gorgeous.

Volunteers set out to three different home repair sites, as well as our camps. This week we have two camps going on, a sports camp in the morning and a day camp in the afternoon. For the sports camp today, the kids learned different skills in volleyball. They learned the difference between a set, a serve and a hit. In the afternoon the kids enjoyed playing games and doing a craft. We were pleased with the turnout for the first day and hope that the camp grows as the week goes on.

We returned to the site on top of the mountain that we started last Thursday. Volunteers continued working on the floors and begun tiling the kitchen. With the storms approaching they were not able to finish the guttering.

We also started two new sites. The first was a roofing site up in Ravencliffe that also included flooring. The volunteers got a great start on both projects, but we will be retuning there tomorrow to finish up.

The final site of the day was a site in Pineville that included repairing a set of steps and replacing a window. The steps were pretty much cut and will just need nailed down tomorrow. The window was taken down and closed off. Tomorrow it will be insulated and drywalled.

For dinner we were treated to a Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, stuffing and the works. What a nice warm and comforting meal.

The focus of reflection was obstacles and how they are overcome. We were asked to share when we overcame an obstacle or when we witnessed someone overcoming an obstacle.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

This weekend was a busy one with 17 people leaving and 25 coming in.Everyone arrived safe and sound and ready to tackle the week ahead. For our community day activity we decided to try out a new place close to the school, Panther State Forrest. Our plan was to go hiking but when we arrived we were informed that there weren't any hiking trails per say anymore, only access roads that were not open to vehicle traffic. We decide to head down one of these that followed a creek and it ended up being quite pretty. The park had just mowed the weeds down, so it was pleasant walking.

After our Sunday cookout we gathered all the newly arrived PVs for a reorientation and reminder of some of our policies and rules. We moved right from the reorientation into the commissioning service. This week we commissioned more people at once than we did all summer.

Right after commissioning and jobsites work began.  We need to roll out, cut and measure roofing materials that we will be using tomorrow as well as the camp people needed to organize for the upcoming week of camps. It was a busy den of activity until well past 10pm. Needless to say, I think everyone will get a good nights sleep tonight!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Week 5 Pictures

Here is a sampling of pictures from the week.  You can find more on our facebook page