NEWS: Almost Heaven, West Virginia – our ASP Trip to Appalachia



ASP_Logo_RGB_Transparent_RSMy son Noah and I are preparing to leave for West Virginiag. Today, we will be packing, and preparing with the our group, for our departure tomorrow morning. Our group of 160 of our youth (ages high school to college) and adult leaders, leave 0’dark early from Westborough, Massachusetts. We will be driving 20 hours, in a convoy of 25 vans! Once we get to Appalachia, we our team will be fixing up homes, and possible flood relief , for families in Logan  and Lincoln counties West Virginia.

We are a part of the ASP (Appalachian Service Project), and have been preparing for this trip for 9 months. In this picture above, Noah and his friend Max, are project and tool training at an ASP  training weekend.

We have so many people in our Westborough ASP youth mission group, we have to split into 2 counties. Our half of the group will be going to Lincoln County. We will be sleeping in a school, which I’ve been told has air conditioning and I’m so very grateful for this. But not all do. It’s amazing to see so many kids have chosen to sacrifice a piece of our summer vacation, work, and vacation time to to meet and help other families. To work in the heat. And gain an experience of a lifetime that money can’t buy. For many this is their 2nd, 5th, 6th or even 10th year doing this trip with ASP.

We are most grateful for all who have prayed, and donated time, talents and money for this trip and this great cause (and many of you have). You are a part of this experience, and without you, this couldn’t happen. Like the boy throwing starfish in the sea (below), this is one small way we make a difference.

You can follow our ASP trip on Twitter:  We will be posting pictures throughout the week. Thoughts and prayers for our team, the families we are working with and especially for the families affected by the flood, are greatly appreciated.

NOTE: I will not have email while I’m away, but I have scheduled some fantastic “how to” videos and blog post ideas for you to enjoy while I’m gone. I will respond to all emails, and send order confirmations, free ordering tutorials and FBP on July 18 when I return.

In case you were wondering, Westborough is the name of the town next door to me. Not in any way shape, or form affiliated with that organization from Kansas who share that name. I would venture a guess to say we are about as opposite from them as can be. Occasionally I get asked about the name from people who aren’t local, and aren’t familiar with the town.


The Starfish Story: one step towards changing the world

the starfish storyOnce upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions.

Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching.  As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea.  The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning!  May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

The old man replied, “But there must be tens of thousands of starfish on this beach. I’m afraid you won’t really be able to make much of a difference.”

The boy bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it as far as he could into the ocean. Then he turned, smiled and said, “It made a difference to that one!”

adapted from The Star Thrower, by Loren Eiseley (1907 – 1977)


November 18-30


  1. Samantha Londos says:

    Congratulations for your son great achievement

  2. Maria Rodriguez says:

    Congratulations to you and your son you for teaching him to help others and him for acomplisi

  3. Peggy Manning says:

    One small act can make a difference! I applaud you and your son for your commitment to ASP in providing assistance to those that need. God bless!

  4. Melanie Morris says:

    I love the starfish story every time I hear it. Best of luck on your trip, safe travels and have fun!

  5. Janet Swofford says:

    Tami, ASP is a wonderful organization! Our daughter,Rebecca, worked as a Volunteer coordinator for them in the summer of 2013 in Tazwell Co. VA. She had just graduated from Appalachian State University.She worked with groups like yours and families from the Tazwell community all summer. The program makes such a difference in the lives of so many people.
    It was a life changing experience for her and helped to shape her into a young woman with a heart for helping others!
    Godspeed for your trip!