PSC's Campus, Community Ministries Lends a Hand in Williamsburg

By: Brian Horton,
PSC 2011 Graduate in Journalism

Members of Potomac State College (PSC) of West Virginia University’s Campus & Community Ministries (CCM) Club spent their spring break vacation helping to repair two homes in the Williamsburg, Va., area. The group worked in collaboration with Housing Partnerships, Inc., an agency that assists low income and disabled individuals with home repairs as well as emergency projects.

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Members of Potomac State College (PSC) of WVU’s Campus and
Community Ministries Club spent their spring break this year helping
to repair homes in Williamsburg, Va. Also lending a hand were members
of the PSC staff and community as well as a PSC alumna. Pictured from
left are: Community Member Jim Peterson, Students Brandon Baker,
Kristen Storey, Kendra Keplinger (kneeling), Kathi Crites, PSC Staff
Libby Nichols, Students Laura Horning, Katelyn Eichelberger, CCM
Advisor Pastor Jim McCune, Students Kimberly Borror, and Brent Ebert.
Not pictured are Community Members Gary Kalbaugh, Howard Boggs,
Ron Hollingsworth, Students Miranda Thorne, Ben Keplinger, Stephanie
Murray, and Alumna Wilma Shields Comeau.

The group left Keyser on a Sunday and worked in Williamsburg through Friday. At the end of the week, all participants had worked approximately 40 hours, each.

“The students from Potomac State seem to get better every year. This group worked hard and would get upset if they were pulled away from the work site early,” said Pastor Jim McCune of Grace United Methodist Church, who serves as one of the advisors to the club. (The Rev. Sally Bartling serves as the other advisor.) “Their work ethic was over the top.”

The participants consisted of 11 students, six campus/community staff (two of which are skilled craftsman), and one PSC alumna, Wilma Comeau who resides in the Williamsburg area. The group spent their nights in the basement of the Williamsburg United Methodist Church. Some of the meals throughout the week were donated by the local Chick-fil-A and Pizza Hut restaurants.

The first site of repair was for a retired couple who needed their roof replaced due to dry-rot which, in turn, also required repair to the damaged interior ceiling. The wheelchair ramp, the ramp railings and two porches were also repaired and repainted.

The second site, the home of a disabled veteran, involved the removal of a rotted kitchen floor and replacing it, along with the installation of new cabinets and painting the interior of the house. According to Pastor McCune, the floor was so badly dry-rotted that one of the students fell through the floor; but thankfully, sustained no injuries.

Pastor McCune said, “We got away from the site on the last day later than what was planned because the students wanted to finish the floor. They realized it wouldn’t be safe if left undone.”

“I almost wanted to cry because we had worked so hard to help these people and then we just had to leave,” said Katelyn Eichelberger, president of CCM at PSC, who will be returning as a sophomore in fall 2011.

 
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The supplies came from Housing Partnerships, Inc., an agency that assists with these types of repairs for low income and disabled individuals.

Brandie Weiler of the Housing Partnerships, Inc. said, “This group was very high energy. Typical of PSC crews, they would work quicker than the supplies could come in.”

The group did get to enjoy recreational activities around their work schedules such as participating in a ghost tour, a cookout, early morning walks around historical Williamsburg, and a late afternoon visit to Virginia Beach. Additionally, they also helped to organize and raise money for an annual 5K race that benefits Housing Partnership, Inc.

According to the CCM Club’s Facebook page, CCM works to perform services on the Potomac State College campus, within Mineral County and along the East coast.

To learn more about CCM and Potomac State College, visit www.potomacstatecollege.edu