A playground for the kids!

A playground for the kids!

Children in War, West Virginia have a reason to celebrate today and give thanks to our dedicated and determined partner there, Big Creek People in Action (BCPIA), a group of hardworking students from Adrian College in Michigan, and our own generous and loyal supporters.
 
“We have a local playground in War and the children were almost unable to utilize it,” Marsha Timpson, BCPIA co-executive director who organizes the groups of volunteers, told us. “It was really cold and windy but they went right out there and got the job done!”
 
Marsha explained that when it rained the playground would be “muddy and messy” and kids “couldn’t come down the slides because they literally ended up in a big mud hole.”
 
However, she added, as typical kids, and boys likely more so than girls, “The children would probably have been fine with this, to tell the truth, but the parents didn’t like it much!
 
“What a difference it made for that playground!” she added.
 
Today, we just want to pass along the gratitude from the children who now have a like-new playground, as in this case, a picture is truly worth a thousand thanks.
A much needed upgrade

A much needed upgrade

Roy, his wife, and their two adult sons are all disabled for one reason or another.

Living together in the small West Virginia community of Cucumber (pop. 94, and the only community in the U.S. with this name), Roy came to Americans Helping Americans® partner serving McDowell County, Big Creek People in Action (BCPIA), requesting help for their bathroom.

“They sure needed it,” BCPIA co-executive director Marsha Timpson told us. “I don’t think I have ever encountered a bathtub in this condition. They have sulfur water and it is bad, but geez!

In March, volunteer college students from the Universities of Richmond and Notre Dame came in and tore out and replaced the flooring, replaced the ceiling and walls and installed a new tub along with new fixtures and plumbing as well.

 

When the job was completed, Marsha provided with the family with a supply of heavy-duty tub and shower cleanser designed to remove stubborn stains and mineral deposits and urged the family to use it at least once or twice a week.

“Hopefully, they will,” she commented.

A ramp for Jimmy

A ramp for Jimmy

Jimmy has now spent the last two West Virginia winters living in his truck, even though he owns what is technically a “house” in the tiny community of Shaft Holler.

But if our partner Big Creek People in Action (BCPIA) co-executive director Marsha Timpson who serves the community there has anything to say about it, he has spent the last of his winters of surviving the frigid nights in his truck.

“We are doing our best to make sure he won’t spend third,” said Marsha, noting that Jimmy has diabetes, high blood pressure, and other ailments. “He is in a wheelchair and I can’t believe he made it through this harsh winter in that truck.”

In March, students from the University of Richmond descended on McDowell County and spent several days working on making his home habitable, as well as starting construction of a handicap ramp which will allow him to enter and exit his home with ease.

 

Although the house itself needs “A LOT OF WORK,” Marsha decided that the first priority was to get the handicap ramp constructed for Jimmy “because if we get it up then we can rig up the front room and kitchen for him. It won’t be much for a while – but it is better than sitting in the truck day and night. I know that has to be hard on his legs and circulation.”

The Richmond students got a good start on the ramp but didn’t have enough time to finish it. In May, a group of students from Centre College in Kentucky will be there to continue working on Jimmy’s ramp.

This project is just one of many that we at Americans Helping Americans® support with financial grants enabling Marsha to purchase the much-needed lumber and other building materials and supplies necessary to do the work on homes such as Jimmy’s throughout the county.

But without our loyal and generous supporters who make that possible, Jimmy and so many others we have helped for the past many years and will be helping this year and for years to come, he might well be still living in that old truck.

Of One Accord – Outstanding community service

Of One Accord – Outstanding community service

We have long been proud of our enduring partnership with the non-profit grassroots organization, Of One Accord in Rogersville where it serves the neediest in the rural impoverished east Tennessee counties of Hawkins and Hancock.

We especially value the strong bond and friendship we have developed over many years with Of One Accord’s founder and director, Rev. Sheldon Livesay. We are especially pleased to announce today that Of One Accord was selected for a Governor’s Volunteer Stars award.

Of One Accord was presented the award “for outstanding community service in the best interests and highest traditions of the State of Tennessee.”

The state began taking nominations for the three most outstanding non-profits to represent the three regions of the state – western, middle and eastern. Of One Accord was chosen among the nominations from Chattanooga to Bristol as “the most outstanding non-profit in East Tennessee,” noted its hometown newspaper, The Rogersville Review.

Speaking of the award recipients, Volunteer Tennessee executive director Jim Snell stated, “They are the backbone of our great state, and by giving of their time and talents to fulfill needs that would otherwise go unmet, they truly embody the spirit of giving.”

Thanks to our loyal supporters, we are able to assist Of One Accord in its mission to feed hundreds of school children each weekday during summer break who would otherwise go hungry through the operation of its “Lunch Box” bus provide hundreds of children with backpacks full of school supplies and seniors living on meager fixed incomes with much-needed prescription eyeglasses, and much more.

Congratulations to Sheldon and all those staff members and volunteers who work day in and day out to make the lives of those down in their luck in their communities much brighter!

The awards were presented on March 12 by Miss Tennessee 2017 Caty Davis.

(Photo courtesy of Sheldon Livesay)

Electric for Mr. Jones

Electric for Mr. Jones

For the first time in 65 years of married life, after coming home from the hospital himself, Mr. Jones was scared his wife would also return from the hospital to a cold home.

He had been out for three hours driving from one church to another determined to find someone who would help him pay his electric bill before the disconnect date on his notice. He didn’t know where to go for this was the first time in his eighty-four-year-old life that he had been in this situation.

He had been in the hospital for three weeks recently and his wife was actually in the hospital at the present time. The expense of medication upon his release from the hospital was more than his monthly social security income. He had a disconnect notice from both the electric and water companies in the mail that the neighbor had piled on the kitchen table. His wife was due to be released to come home with home health care within the next week. He knew this could not happen if the utilities were disconnected.

The office worker at one of the churches that he visited told him to our partner, Come-Unity Cooperative Care. “They are your best chance for help,” she told him. They were able to pay all his bill except for the $100 that he was given by the church.

Moments like this would not be possible without the support we receive from our supporters.