May 12: All about community
By Joy Suh
Days two and three were all about community in one way or another.
Day two was the start of the Community Cleanup – we provided a big dumpster for residents to throw out unwanted items in an effort to clean up yards. To make it easier, we offered residents the chance to put unwanted items at the edge of their driveways and AmeriCorps members went around and hauled it to the dumpster.
The AmeriCorps volunteers had a chance to explore the small town of Franklin before heading to a community dinner at a local church.
The community brought together AmeriCorps members, affiliate staff, Habitat homeowners, partner families and Painter’s Point residents for a meal and program.
It was an old-fashion covered dish meal complete with fried chicken and peanut butter pies. We planned for roughly 75 people and we reached well over 100 for dinner adding three tables to an already packed room.
We were honored to have Larry Gluth and Peter Rumsey join us the afternoon of day two and for dinner that night. Larry offered a special thanks to all the AmeriCorps members for their service to Habitat for Humanity during the after dinner program. The most moving part of the evening was the testimonials from Painter’s Point residents.
Steve Clutter, a homeowner whose home is being weatherized this week, spoke about not being helped this week but being served by volunteers. He spoke about his family and how weatherizing his home will make is safer for his infant daughter whose immune system is weak because she was born premature.
Janet Thompson, also a homeowner, expressed her appreciation for the handicap ramp being built onto her house. She is homebound because she is not able to go up and down stairs. This critical home repair is critical to her quality of life.
Day three was a half day of work. Some AmeriCorps members began landscaping the newest Habitat development on Painter’s Point helping to beautify the area.
But, the afternoon is what everyone was looking forward to. The afternoon brought free time and a chance for some adventure in Pendleton County. Half of the group went to Nelson Rocks to rock climb and zip line and half went cave exploring at Seneca Caverns. It was chance to get to know the larger community of Pendleton County and to get some much deserved relaxation.
Two more days to go. We are all excited to see the finished products.