OUR ASP TRIP
At 5:00am on Saturday, July 9, 164 youth and group leaders departed Westborough, MA in 24 vans. Headed for West Virginia with the Appalachian Service Project. It’s a trip we’ve been preparing for 9 months. Once there, we’d break up into 24 groups of 2 Group Leaders and 5 Youth crews. We’d spread out over 2 counties (Logan and Lincoln), each crew would go to a different project. We slept in schools, and worked hard all day in the heat and occasional downpour. In theory, this experience should not have been as fun as it was.
Every morning, we’d gather together for a quick group meeting, and breakfast before heading off to fixing up homes in the communities.
My son, Noah and I were on different crews. Here’s a picture of us before loading our vans with supplies and heading off to our job sites.
This is my crew. Our job was to rip out, and install new floors for the sweetest Grandmother. Her floors were badly damaged from a previous flood and were weeks for collapse. I had only met the other Group Leader on my crew and one of the kids before this trip, by the end we were like family. I have gained a brother, and 5 new kids.
Our homeowner’s name was Shirley. Everyday she’d hug us and call us her angels. Nicknaming the group “Shirley’s Angels”.
Brian was amazing at training all 6 of us simultaneously, on 6 different tasks. Here’s a picture of us standing in a hole in the ground in Shirley’s living room after we ripped out the flooring.
This picture is one of my favorites. Before we started laying down the OSB board for the new floor, we signed this beam. A piece of our hearts will always be with Shirley.
The finished floor, with some pretty amazing kids!
Everywhere we went, you could feel the love from, and for, the community.
This video is a glimpse at my crew’s project from start to finish, and all of the fun in between.