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, 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.

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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!