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

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Like a lot of the eastern part of the country, we lost our power last night and still did not have power this morning. Because of how the school water system is set up, when we lose power we also lose water. Throughout the county outages are very spotty. Half of Pineviile has power, half of Oceana has power. We are in Pineville and just got power at 5:15pm. We are going to head back to the school to see if the power has been restored there.  Because of the no water and no power situation we had to hold up the volunteers that were planning on arriving today. If the school power is back on we can call them and give them the go ahead.

We will keep you updated as we can.

Friday, June 29, 2012

"I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big success. I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, which, if given time, will rend the hardest moments of pride."
William James

Since today is our home repair free Friday and the temperatures were in the three digits (it topped out at 104), it was a bit of a relaxed day for everyone. Before people headed out for the day, everyone took part in our weekly thorough cleaning of the school.  The school looks and smells so clean it is fantastic!

Volunteers went out in several small groups at different points during the day. A small group went down to finish up the steps at St. Vincent DePaul and to rehang their sign. It looks fabulous.

Another small group went to finish off the final loads from the year long house basement. A trip to St. Vincent DePaul for storage, a trip to the dump and a final trip back up to the school with the last little bits of lumber we had stored there.

There was also a small group that went to Mullens to finish off a few little things from the site earlier in the week. They hung a couple of spice racks and replaced a window that we had glass cut for. This group also stopped and worked a bit at the Itmann school house and did some cleaning. Plans were also made for what we will be assisting with next week at the site.

Today was the first day at Glen Rogers Manor. Volunteers had a lot of fun playing banana bingo, painting nails and playing pool. One of the two buses that bring the residents back from their day program was a little late so it was a little slow to being, but the volunteers and the residents had a wonderful time.

Fridays are also the time to visit with some of the people we have met. Volunteers went to Lilydale to say hello to our friends that live there. They are always happy to see any and all PVs who come to town.

The menu for tonight's dinner consisted of pizza burgers, mashed rutabaga and a salad. A very tasty and satisfying meal. This week we have been lucky and have been treated to a lot of fresh veggies after a donation of veggies was made.

Just as reflection started a storm whipped out and knocked out the power to the school.  Being the flexible group that the PVs are, we continued by lantern light. As we are losing most of the group tomorrow morning, tonight's closing allowed volunteers to reflect back on their experiences of their time in WV this summer. The idea of the reflection is that our time is a boat journey and sometimes there are rough patches and sometimes there is smooth sailing. Volunteers shared some of their experiences from their journeys this summer.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

"What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once again today we had hot weather, but this is just the beginning of several days reaching into the 100's. Because of the heat we finished up a little early at our sites, allowing volunteers to relax a bit in the air conditioning of the school.

The volunteers finished up the roof out on Bud Mountain and then were able to spend a significant amount of time chatting with the home owners. I'm sure the volunteers won't miss the long drive out to Bud Mountain, but I know they will miss the family and the beautiful views.

Volunteers also continued work up the road in Hanover. They were able to finish the painting inside and we will spend time next week tiling a couple of rooms and then we should be able to wrap things up there.

A group also went back to the Itmann school house to continue removing knotweed and begin to clean the inside so that it could be closer to be ready for move in. There is still a lot that needs to be done, but it is definitely looking much better than it did a couple of days ago from the outside.

We sent two groups to St. Vincent DePaul today. One group continued inside with distribution and organizing, while another group worked outside trying to secure the deck boards on the newly built deck. While it is close to being done, there are still a few more adjustments that need to be done, as well as hanging the St. Vincent DePaul sign across the front of the porch.

The final group, or I should say twosome, spent the day loading up debris from our New Richmond site and hauling it to the landfill at the top of the mountain. Two large loads were done before it just became too hot to do it anymore.

After some good R&R volunteers were treated to breakfast for dinner. Besides pancakes and eggs, there were homemade home fries, bacon, sausage and tofu. The meal was topped off with delicious pudding.

As we gathered in the evening for reflection, we were asked to reflect on someone we have met who is like God in skin. After the sharing we were each given a piece of a puzzle and as we put the puzzle together it created the PV logo.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Volunteers enjoyed the last day of comfortable weather today, by putting in a hard days work. We had four crews spread throughout county today continuing on a previously started sites.

We had a group go back to St. Vincent DePaul to help with distribution and organization at the warehouse. When we drove by around 10, there was no place to park since there were so many people there to pick up items.

A group headed back up the road to finish the underpinning and continue painting.  The underpinning is complete and looks fabulous. Big progress was made with the painting. The living room is almost complete as is the kitchen.

Another large group headed to the far end of the county to continue work on the roof that was started yesterday. The site is at the top of mountain, at the end of a road. They too made a lot of progress and should be finished up tomorrow.

The final site of the day was a site we started last summer with our volunteers and work was continued this spring with Northern Illinois University. The group worked at the old Itmann two room school house to help UGWA and Groundworks transform the building into office space as well as a visitor center. Today the group spent time removing knotweed from the front of the building and helping to rebuild a stone wall that is in front of the building.

We had another wonderful meal tonight. Tonight there was cranberry chicken over rice for the meat eaters and a black bean and tofu scramble over rice for the vegetarians. It was delicious.

In the evening we reflected on the idea of  being lonely and how important it is to reach out to others in their time loneliness. Afterward we were asked to share a "new and good" and/or a time when we were lonely and someone reached out to us. It was a very nice reflection and sharing.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.
Denis Waitley

Today we were treated to an absolutely gorgeous day. Highs in the mid 70's and a pure blue sky.  It was a nice break in the hot weather especially knowing the heat is returning with temperatures to reach the century mark.

We spent our last day out in New Richmond today finishing up the roofing and the electric. We were also able to make three trips to the landfill (on top of the mountain) to remove the wood from the shed that we had knocked down last week. We will probably be sending a truck out again on Thursday to make a couple of more trips to the landfill.

A group also returned to the underpinning and painting site. The underpinning is almost finished and the painting is well on its way. Besides getting a lot of work done, volunteers had a great time getting to know the family better. They even topped off the day with a game of duck duck goose.

Volunteers also continued working out in Mullens doing a lot of odds and ends. Today they painted the porch floor and foundation, they hung a couple of bird feeders, finished power washing and generally helped in any way they were asked. The homeowner was pleased with all the work that has been done at the site.

Today we also started a new roofing site on top of Herndon Mountain. The location was beautiful, but a long drive from the school. It is just about as far as one can go from the school and still be in the county. Besides putting a new roof on the house, the house was jacked up in corner to help level it out after it had settled a bit. The volunteers really enjoyed their day roofing and getting to know the family.

The final site was St. Vincent DePaul. Volunteers once again helped with organizing the warehouse. Besides organizing they helped to distribute some of the furniture and goods to people who needed them. Their hard work over the past few days is really paying off as the warehouse looks fantastic and is much easier to get around in.

After a busy day everyone was looking forward to dinner, and dinner did not disappoint. We were treated to potato tacos and lots of greens, both salads and kale. A very filling, very healthy and very delicious meal. For those that had space in their bellies after dinner, there were brownies for dessert.

In reflection tonight we talked about age and time and how arbitrary it is, how important it is to live in the moment. Afterwards we were asked to share a "new and a good." As always it was wonderful to hear about everyone's day.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

"What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the the lives of others."

We were blessed with a little bit cooler weather today, one could almost say the morning was cool. Today was a busy day in PVland, with four sites going on throughout the county.

One group continued work in New Richmond. Yard work continued, as did the roof. The two new projects today was helping to run electrical wiring and painting the front of the house. We should be finishing up their tomorrow.

We also sent a group back to St. Vincent DePaul. The group helped organize the warehouse and made phone calls for distribution later in the week.

A third group went up the road from the school to continue the underpinning and painting that began in March. Besides the summer program, a college group from Northern Illinois University worked at this site as well as a group from Elms College in June.

The final site today was a new site in Mullens. The volunteers were able to stay cool as they power washed the house while a couple of volunteers worked inside fixing odds and ends.

For dinner tonight we had a scrumptious cornbread chili (the recipe can be found in the PV cookbook) and a salad. For dessert we had one of my favorites, a chocolate raspberry torte, also in the PV Cookbook.

For reflection tonight, we were asked to share three truths about ourselves with the group. We were to share the truths, but why they were truths. It was interesting to hear some of the shared truths amongst the group.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday is the PV's traditional Community Day, a chance to hang out together, get to know each other and relax before the busy week ahead. Today we headed down to the lower section of the RD Bailey Lake. There was horseshoe tossing, volleyball, cards and bananagrams were played.

We we went back to the school we had a cookout, with lots of yummy sides. After reorientation we topped off our evening with our PV Commissioning Service. Now on to the start of the week.....

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any."
Alice Walker

Fridays, as always, are our day to focus solely on projects that do not include home repair. Today was also the final day of soccer camp in Mullens. The week was a lot of fun, the kids were great, the volunteers were troopers running around and playing in the extreme heat. Thanks to Wyoming County Soccer for their support of the camp!

After Soccer Camp several volunteers went to play Banana Bingo at Mullens Manor. There were a few glitches as it was the first day, but all in all a great start to that program for the summer.

Besides these two sites, volunteers went on visits to some of the people we have gotten to know over the years. This is one of the reasons we don't do home repair on Fridays, to allow people the chance to reconnect and strengthen their relationships with old friends.

Many were really looking forward to dinner tonight, as it was time to have Nancy's Chicken (ans sans Chicken) Casserole, a PV favorite. This year besides the casserole were treated to Penne ala Vodka (sans the Vodka.)  Both dishes were scrumptious.

During reflection tonight we shared a time when we saw someone taking on the burdens of anotherm=, here in West Virginia. Very thought provoking and interesting.

Please check back tomorrow to see pictures from the week.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being."

Albert Schweitzer

I feel like a broken record, but today was another hot and steamy day. At soccer camp everyone preserved through the heat and we were even rewarded with some cloud cover the last half an hour of camp. The kids were great, very attentive and have noticeably improved in their soccer skills.

The group continuing with the New Richmond site also had to battle the extreme conditions as they were working on the roof.  Almost half of the roof is now complete and we will continue on next week. The yard work also continued and will continue on.

The third group of PVs set out for St. Vincent DePaul once again. While the warehouse can be overwhelming, the group continue to help get it into some sort of order so that people needed items will be able to find them.

Everyone was once again eager for dinner. Tonight we were treated to meatloaf, baked potatoes, 3-bean salad, Irish Soda bread and surprise cake. All delicious, all comforting.

Tonight's reflection was interesting as we were asked to reflect on a favorite movie quote and relate it to our experiences in West Virginia. Lots of good movies to check out.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Mead

Happy West Virginia Day!!! Today marks the 149th birthday of West Virginia becoming a state.

Today is also the first day of summer and the temperatures concurred, reaching well into the 90's, making for another hot and humid day. Soccer camp continued into it's third day, was more fun and more soccer. We had another great group of volunteers who jumped in and played soccer with the kids.

We also continued work at the home repair site in New Richmond. Today the group focused on replacing part of the roof on the back, as well as continuing doing more yard work. I hate to say "yard work" as that sounds nice and peaceful, when in fact this "yard work" is on the the side of a mountain in blistering heat with no shade for respite. Work will continue at this site tomorrow and into the summer.

We also had a group who went to St. Vincent DePaul to help sort through the two truckloads of items dropped off last week. The majority of their time was spent organizing and sorting out cans of paint. This will be very helpful to us later in the summer when we need paint.

Volunteers were very anxiously awaiting a spaghetti dinner when suppertime came around.  spaghetti, salad and garlic bread, what more can one ask for you say?  Well, it was topped of with home made apple spice cake.  Yum yum.

After dinner the group gathered for the evenings reflection. This evening we focused on love and helping your fellow human, even when others will not.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride.!"

Hunter S. Thompson

Another warm and sunny day in Wyoming County!. Today the group split in half, with half going to soccer camp, and the other half going to a home repair site in New Richmond.

It was another great day at soccer camp. I don't know who was more enthusicastic, the campers or the volunteers. We were also very grateful for the use of a tent to provide us and the campers with some much needed shade. Thanks Mullens soccer community for the shade!

The home repair site we had today, was a continuation of a site that we worked on last week with a group of students from Elms College. (I will be posting about the Elms College trip in the near future.)  Today the volunteers continued to remove shrubbery, weeds and vines from the mountainside that the house sits on. Volunteers also helped to pull down (literally with our truck) an old pump house that was out back. By the afternoon there was no shade to be had and we had to call it quits a bit early.

Needless to say, with all the sun and heat today, volunteers were ready for a shower and a nice home-cooked meal. Tonight we were treated to a satisfying shepherds pie, salad and homemade rolls.. The special treat with dinner tonight was homemade chocolate chip cookies. Yummmy!

Tonight's reflection focused on our spiritual journey and in particular someone we have met in West Virginia who has helped us along on our journey.

Monday, June 18, 2012

"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."  Anatole France

The first day of the summer kicked off with flourish. Soccer camp kicked off in Mullens once again. We had a great first day turnout with a lot of familiar faces and some new ones! There was lots of energy and excitement for the week ahead.

The other site, while not glamorous, was a very needed and helpful site. We sent several truck load down to the our old rental house in Pineville to clear out the lumber and miscellaneous items that were left after the mover. All in all several truckloads made the 25 mile trip back and forth from Hanover to Pineville. We now have everything the PVs in the school.

For dinner tonight we had delicious calzones, orange salad and  a green salad. The meal was filling and yummy!

After dinner we gathered for our evening reflection. Tonight we were asked to reflect on "God is good all the time" and share a time as a PV where we saw the goodness of God.. It was nice to get back into the reflection mode and have that time set aside for quiet reflection on the day.

All and all a very nice first day of the summer program.

Monday, June 18, 2012

PV Summer Program Has Begun!!!

Check back daily to keep up-to-date on all that is going on with the PVs in Wyoming County, WV.