Monday, June 29, 2015

Site #3: Child Care

I consider this a site because those that stayed to do this made it possible for others to do what they did.  There were 7 kids that came along, ages 3-9.  We set it up so that the moms of the three families stayed back 2 days to watch kids, and the dad’s stayed back one (Luke being an exception because he was the crew leader).  The rotation was as followed: Steph and I – Tuesday; Aaron and Jacqui – Wednesday; Steph and Jacqui – Thursday; Jeremy and I – Friday.  Each day had some experiences that made it unique.  Tuesday was probably the worst day; there was nothing planned, and we floundered around killing time.  We did go on a short hike,

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discovered bear print and scat (we think),


observed the moths,


grampus or dobsonfly (this is not the one we caught, but it looks the same, if not a little smaller),


and millipedes that were caught (primarily by Sam),


constructing marble runs out of toilet paper tubes, and attempting a game of kickball. 

Wednesday, Aaron and Jacqui took the kids to a birthday party for Savannah a 10 year old on the mountain.  Her family is friends with the SWAP staff and had invited everyone to attend.  This was a good cultural experience for the kids, although I am pretty sure they just saw it as fun because they went to a birthday party and ate cake! 

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Thursday, Steph and Jacqui took the kids to help Nicole (SWAP administrative volunteer alongside her husband) deliver popsicles to all the job site workers.  This allowed the kids to see the sites where everyone worked and explore a little.

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Friday, Jeremy and I started the day having the kids sort a random collection of screw, nails, and other misc fasteners.  These were donations from people wanting to be helpful; the difficulty is the tools are not useful unless they are sorted by type and size first, so that they can be found and used on project sites.  This was the kids servant project this week; we are only disappointed it did not materialize until the end of the week because we could have had them work on it each day.  The kids worked for about 45 minutes and sorted a lot!  Sam was the super worker and really enjoyed it.  Madison hung in with him for most of it.

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In the afternoon, we rewarded them with a picnic in the park and swimming.  Aaron offered his family’s pool to us.  His mom invited us in, opened up the basement apartment for changing, bathrooms, etc.  And the kids played, laughed, and released energy.  It was a good, refreshing day to counter my first day!

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Site #2: Ginger’s House

Ginger’s husband had begun home improvement projects before passing away.  Her house needed them done to live in normally.  The SWAP leader on this site was Jason.  The crew leader was John. 

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Some of the projects: dry wall entire interior of the home

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and clean and stain kitchen cabinets. 

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All this was accomplished while she was living there with all her things that needed moved to access the walls.  She was upbeat and grateful for the help, even while living in the chaos of the work.  Her grandmother would occasionally stop in, as did the granddaughters. 

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Jeremy worked here for three days, Tuesday through Thursday.

Site #1: Christ’s Hands

Christ’s Hands is a four story brick building that houses a soup kitchen, emergency shelter, food pantry, and at one time a free clinic.  They work to meet needs in the community and be Christ’s hands and feet while doing it.  We were there primarily to help with a variety of maintenance and building improvement projects.  Our SWAP leader on site was Aaron.  Our crew leaders were Luke and Jim, and I would add Johanna as an honorary crew leader. 

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There was a freight elevator that was fairly frightening if you were a first time user with slight claustrophobia.  It did get better the more we would use it.  After the first day, Ray was the elevator attendant so that people and supplies did not have long delays waiting for someone to bring the elevator up or down.

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The week started anticipating putting a new metal roof on; due to a delay in roofing materials, we did a variety of other things.  This is a list of projects, but it is not a complete list: seal holes with tar on roof,


add flashing to prevent leaks,

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install two louvers and fans in the plenum (note all the technical terms I used in that one!),

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vent bathroom sewer pipes, and hook up electrical. 

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In addition, there was opportunity to work with the food pantry and soup kitchen staff to: un-clump 50 lb bags of brown sugar, re-bag potatoes for distribution, carry in pantry supplies at drop-off, clean soup kitchen storage shelves, food prep for the evening meal,

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and move furniture to clear space for the possible homeless shelter. 


It was a good week of work here with a lot of construction talent on our crew directing those with little knowledge, as well as Johanna heading up the soup kitchen interaction.  I worked here for two days, Wednesday and Thursday.