News From…. The
Appalachian Poverty Project (and helping
to save our landfills)
Providing Appliances to the Needy
The Appalachian Poverty Project
(and helping to save our landfills)
There have been some interesting developments in recent months.
1. We have developed a relationship with Liberty Transportation. They have been supplying us with appliances and mattresses. As a result, we have been consistently exceeding our short range goal of 10 units per month. We have also been receiving 10-15 mattress sets from them each month.
2. Some volunteers have come forth to help with distribution of fliers. These ladies are with Gamma Sigma Sigma at McDaniel College.
3. Another volunteer will help us with some administrative tasks. Also with Gamma Sigma Sigma
4. My wife Marie and I recently made our third trip to Kentucky for the purpose of meeting with the president of Kentucky H.O.P.E, Mr Charles Saunders. We now have a clearer picture of how we can best interface our respective organizations. We learned of the significant need for bedding and that there was prison labor available to clean the appliances that we send. (This relieves us of considerable burden)
We also met a lovely lady there named Rhonda – more about her later.
5. I have been in contact with a pastor in Cucumber, WV. He serves a very impoverished Appalachian area and needs help. I hope that we may be able to assist him. Unlike Kentucky H.O.P.E. he has limited volunteer resources and receives little outside assistance. I will be visiting him in the Spring with hopes of arranging a mission trip to rehab some homes. I am also trying to figure out a way of getting donated materials to him.
6. We have passed the 115 mark for appliances. Small appliances (microwaves, window ac’s) have not been counted – mattress sets are nearing 75. We have also started picking up furniture – Sofas, loveseats, recliners and even an invalid recliner. (The last piece went to a local shut-in). Only two appliances have been delivered locally. Another has been requested, but not yet delivered. We have been receiving a very high percentage of refrigerators and most are medium and small sizes—just perfect for the folks who get them.
7. Our electric winch had to be replaced. I no longer can recommend Warn winches. The problem that occurred was clearly due to faulty design.
8. A work truck continues to be a problem. Using a pickup truck for this work limits us to a maximum of about 12-15 appliances each month(and we are limited by weather) and we are currently getting that number strictly by word of mouth. We have stopped advertising and visiting churches because we have pretty much reached our limit. If we had a larger truck that was covered, we could check them out on the truck and leave them on the truck until we delivered them. This would reduce the number of times the units are handled and the number of trips to the distribution center. Over the past year, we have gotten over 115 appliances and 65-70 mattress sets. With a larger truck, we can triple that number and deliver materials to other missions in need. Also, a lift gate would make everything easier and safer (both Harry and myself have fallen off the truck while loading). Also, an enclosed body truck means that we don’t have to cancel pickups and deliveries whenever it threatens to rain or snow. Getting a larger truck will be expensive and will have higher operating expenses so sources of funding will have to be found. I am hoping that some local church or civic organization will be willing to accept ownership of a truck, otherwise we will be forced to incorporate. We have 501(c)(3) status through our affiliation with the Community Foundation of Carroll County and would really prefer not to deal with the legal and administrative expense of a corporation. Please pray that God will send us the help that we will need and that we will know the right way to handle it when that time comes.
9. I will be attending a series of workshops on volunteerism. It covers many topics and promises to be valuable. The materials are from the Points of Light Foundation. I have read some of their publications in the past and have a lot of respect for their knowledge and work.
10. One of our mission affiliates, Kentucky H.O.P.E., has changed their name to Pike County H.E.L.P. The acronym stands for Helping Ease Life’s Poverty. Don’t know why they changed. They have a new website at www.pikecountyhelp.org. These folks are doing a fantastic job of providing basic necessities to thousands of poor families.
More about Rhonda
In summer 2005, Marie and I took 7 other folks to Kentucky to help the volunteers there to organize their thrift store. We worked hard but didn’t make the kind of impact that we had hoped. The thrift store is a large old furniture store and is extremely crowded. Each week a tractor/trailer arrives completely filled with donated material and is required to be unloaded in about two hours time. This is further complicated by the fact that they never know exactly when the tractor/trailer will arrive. It is total chaos.
When we visited recently, we found that the entire second floor was neat, orderly and well organized. We also met the lady who was responsible for this monumental task.
Her name is Rhonda.
Rhonda’s family is coal miners, like many of the people in rural Appalachia. She has lost her father and grandfather in separate mining accidents. Both of her brothers have been permanently disabled in separate mining accidents. Rhonda is raising her children and caring for both of her brothers. She also volunteers at the mission 25-30 hours a week and is “on-call” to help unload the weekly arrival of donations.
Most of us, myself included, can only imagine how she could cope with the tragedies in her life, let alone have anything left to give to others. She, however, does not consider her losses unusual or tragically unfair - only typical of life in coal country. She sees only God’s blessings and tries to live her life as a blessing to others.
I pray that this letter finds everyone well and serving God’s kingdom.
The Appalachian Poverty Project
A Component of the Community Foundation of Carroll County
”Providing Appliances to the Needy “
Learn how you can help - <http://www.app-pov-proj.org/>
If you have received this email in error or do not wish to continue to receive them, please email me at the link on our website and I will remove you from our list.