APPALACHIA SERVICE PROJECT

ASP 2018 - CALL(ED) TO ACTION : Isaiah 6:8

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”

TEAM 1: ITALIAN WEDDING

Kevin Johnson, Lynette Gronemann, Ceiley Graceffo, Julianne Caccavale, Emma Woods & Doug Gabel


Team 1 had the pleasure of serving Mr. and Mrs. Q this week. The couple were incredible special because although they didn’t necessarily have all that they needed, they continued to volunteer to help serve others. In fact, Mr. Q served our country and continues to serve his community to this day. Mr. and Mrs. Q also had a son, J, who was 17 years old.


Originally we were challenged with the task of finishing laying OSB and laminate in the back room of their home. We were also asked to fix their toilet and add molding around the room. By Wednesday we exceeded Staff’s expectations for us and were able to move on to identifying areas in the kitchen floor that needed to be repaired due to past damage.


We expected that the entire kitchen floor would need to be removed and replaced. However, we were pleasantly surprised that only a portion of the flooring needed to be repaired. Because of this good news, we were able to properly prepare the floors for laying new laminate.


We are blessed to have completed two rooms for Mr. and Mrs. Q this week. After making the floors of their home warmer, safer and dryer we shared the quilt from the Priscilla Quilters along with Rooster knick knacks for Mrs. Q to add to her collection! The couple were so appreciative of all that we had done that week and even told us that we will always have a forever home there in Boyd County, Kentucky!


TEAM 2: BROCCOLI & CHEESE

Kelly Caccavale, Austin Perrault, Beth Bauman, Bill VanBuskirk, Mia Hollstein, Jason Gabel, Abe Walayat


Our home owner Ms. W lives with her fiancé R, her daughter, two sons, two dogs, and a multitude of cats. Ms. W was a long distance truck driver until she suffered career ending injuries from being on the job so long. Her job took her to the contiguous 48 states, travelling over three million miles. She is currently waiting on a settlement for her disability. She is leasing her house with the option to buy and she is 5 years off from owning her home.


We finished the flooring in the master bedroom and installed the recently painted molding. We leveled the OSB sub-floor in the nearby hallway and continued the flooring from the bedroom into the hall. The bathroom was primed, painted and had ceiling molding installed. We carefully removed the molding and previous flooring from the dining room. We then made repairs to air ducts and installed insulation and a new OSB sub-floor. We painted molding for the hallway and the dining room which will be installed by the next team. We also had opportunities to play with the animals in the home.


Some Bloopers from our week include:

  • Taking a different route every time we left the site and the center (...we got lost)
  • Stopping at a family dollar every morning ($1 WOW!)
  • Fixing insulation multiple times due to a mischievous cat!
  • Finding new ways of up paint cans... by dropping it on the ground!


We persevered through 106 degree days by drinking many gallons of water.


We gave Ms. W a green quilt and she was excited to give it to her daughter because that is her favorite color. She was extremely grateful for the work we accomplished. So much so, that she gave us food during the day and offered to help us by finishing our projects at night. We were happy to get to serve her and to work together as a team.


TEAM 3: BRUNSWICK STEW

Johnny Crouch, Sheila Fitzsimmons, Frank Leone, Jen Hologounis, Haley Graybush and Jay Palagano


Our Team had the opportunity to work on a trailer for a single mother of two children. The primary focus of our work was the bathroom and the floor of the hallway. Unfortunately, we had limited time with the family due to the mother working multiple jobs and long hours. The work included reinforcing the floor, installing sheetrock, spackling the walls and ceiling, and ensuring the structural integrity of the home. We did so in spite of daily temperatures above 100 degrees, high humidity and not having a functional bathroom; there was a nearby CVS that was accommodating and welcoming of us all.


Though we came in with lofty goals for our work week, we were able to accomplish the work that needed to be done. The family was grateful for the work that we did and the mother was touched by the gifts we presented, particularly by the quilt which she shared on her social media! While we accomplished so much , there is still a lot to do which is a great motivator of future ASP trips!


TEAM 4: SANTIAGO (CHILI)

Wendy Graybush, Ryan Karpack, Joe Capetta, Noah Whitmore, Sarah Ramadan & Bruce Bauman


This year we served a couple, Mr. and Mrs. B. Their double-wide mobile home had floors that needed to be replaced. We also cut, stained, and trimmed the bathroom, hallways and living room (where the floors had been replaced by the previous crew). In the kitchen we finished up the re-moval of unsafe flooring and replaced it with new OSB and laminate flooring.


Team 4 enjoy lunches with Mr. and Mrs. B, as well as exploring the gardens of their parents who lived next door! We also had fun playing with their two cats, three dogs and six rabbits! Their son A came to visit for the holiday and we had a 4th of July picnic, concluded with a robust rendition of “God Bless America!” Mrs. B’s father made us each a wooden cross and sang an original song to go along with the gift, which was a gift itself. The family was very touched by the handmade quilts from the Priscilla Quilters.


Overall the week was emotionally fulfilling and Team 4 was able to finish all tasks assigned!


TEAM 5: FRENCH ONION

Alex Lopez, Zach Whitmore, Bonnie Leone, Josh Rand, Tori Izsa, David Encarnacion & Frank Caccavale


Our team had the opportunity to work with Ms. S, currently employed to clean homes. Our job was to help support the kitchen floor. We completed this task by removing the existing floor, repairing and replacing the joists, digging new floors, and laying a new subfloor. Our team overcame many challenges through research, perseverance and working together.


While having no kitchen was an inconvenience to the family, Ms. S’s enthusiasm and smile shone through. Instead of being frustrated about the situation, she was nothing but thankful for the work we were doing.


Highlights from our trip include the laughter and friendship formed over peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at lunch time and Ms. S’s appreciation for her quilt to help stay warm on cold Kentucky nights.


TEAM 6: LOBSTER BISQUER

John Ruschke, Marissa Gabel, James Graceffo, Holly Izsa, Kris Hollstein, Sydney Kroeter & Zach Karpack


This week, our team served a wonderful young couple with a 6 month old baby boy, and they were also giving part time care to a 4 year old little girl. They welcomed us into their home with open arms, and we did as much as we could throughout the week to leave their home safer, warm-er, and drier.


Our initial job assignment consisted of reinforcing the trusses of the mobile home. The roof was sagging and leaking in several places, causing other structural damage to the home. We reinforced trusses in the dining room, living room, and nursery, providing support for the new roof we planned to install. Due to the home being passed down through the family over the years, we had to work around limited living space and possessions that had been moved from room to room as we worked. The repair of the trusses required some demo work, which consisted of lots of dust and debris; we made sure to clean up as much as we could, in order to make a safe living space for the family during this large construction undertaking.


As with many jobs, we encountered some obstacles, including the excruciating heat that reached a heat index of 107. It made working under and on the roof difficult, but we managed to persevere to continue our work. We also ran out of paint and roofing material on Thursday and Friday, meaning we could not finish the roof by the end of the week. While we had not accomplished all that we intended to, we know that next week’s crew will continue the work we started and leave the family with a safer, warmer, and drier home.


We were fortunate to have our family attend the ASP volunteer/family picnic on Thursday, and were able to see the joy on each of the family member’s faces as they talked and played with our team. Being able to see the Mom rest while we cared for the baby boy, seeing the Dad play with his son, and seeing the smile on the little girl’s face as she played on the swing was priceless. We were so fortunate to spend as much as time with them as we did, as they lingered until the very end, not wanting the evening to come to close.


We were so excited to give our family the gifts we had chosen for them on Friday, including two quilts from our Priscilla Quilters, one of which was a baby quilt that was perfect for the baby boy. The mom and dad were so appreciative of the work we had done, even if we had not accomplished all that we intended to do, and were so thankful for the quilts and other gifts we gave them. To show their appreciation, they cooked us a barbecue lunch on Friday, consisting of homemade mac and cheese and burgers. We were thankful for this week and the experiences we got to share with our family, our ASP team and know that the memories we’ve made will never be forgotten!


TEAM 7: JAMALAYA

Lee Haase, Elyse Halpern, Adam VanBuskirk, Kim Karpack, Timmy Johnson, Kaitlyn Jensen and Janice McCrostie


When we arrived at our site on Monday morning we were greeted by 3 small and energetic dogs named Meeko, Bear & Romeo who kept us on our toes all week long! Immediately following we introduced ourselves to our homeowner Mrs. M, her daughter H and adorable one year old grand-daughter A. An incredible family with so much love to share, and that they did throughout a week of conversations and plenty of fun with A!


Our task for the week was to remove the current walls and replace them with new drywall. As usual on ASP, the Team never knows what kind of challenges we may find and upon taking down the inner walls we found that the original structure of the house was cinder blocks. Luckily we had the incomparable Lee Haase on our team and he was able to provide staff with multiple problem solving options. In the end we framed out the inner walls with 1X4s and masonry nails as they would not be needing insulation, and for the exterior walls we use 2X4s and blue foam insulation. As Friday came to a close we completed the drywall throughout the room and began spackling for the next team in!


We were lucky enough to have another one of our DCC Teams across the street from us and we spent many lunches enjoying their company. On Thursday night we had a wonderful time with Mrs. M, H & A… who even took her first step upon returning home that night! Mrs. M & H cried receiving their beautiful Quilts and wouldn't let anyone else hold them, even for a photo! Our week with this family has changed us forever and we are so grateful for this time on ASP!