Our first day of work is in the bag! We started bright and early with a 7:15 am breakfast. Waffles, eggs, sausage, and cereal gave us the start we needed for a full day of activity. Today was the most difficult day for getting on the road, as we had to gather supplies before leaving the Pittsburgh Project. It can be tricky to know what we need before starting the work, but the Project has an amazing work crew that handles much of that for us.
TPP’s crew visits each of the homeowners that they will be serving, plans out the projects, and sets the expectations for what the various groups will be able to do each week. Some homeowners have multiple crews come throughout the Summer, but others, like our Aliene, may only have one week’s worth of help.
We have three main tasks this week: 1. Yardwork. Cutting the grass, weedwhacking, trimming some bushes, etc. 2. Painting her railing. It is rusting and peeling, and needs to be cleaned and repainted. 3. Repairing her cracked sidewalk. They gave us a jackhammer. Yes, really.
Once we arrived at Aliene’s home, we said good morning to her and jumped right in! We made quick work of the bushes and began working on the fence. Part of the fence had been overgrown by a shrubbery, which we quickly learned contained a bee’s nest. Thomas was the first to discover this… the hard way. Will wasn't far behind. Tomorrow, we're bringing bee killer spray with us.
Much to your relief, I'm sure, we decided not to fix the sidewalk after all, which means no playing with the jackhammer. The sidewalk was in much better shape than previously thought, and we discovered that we needed permits from the city to do the job.
We finished early enough to go get some ice cream! We tried going somewhere downtown Pittsburgh, but there was literally no where to park the bus. So we went a little closer to home and found an amazing local creamery. While eating our ice cream, we were approached by a homeless man, whose name we learned was Michael. He was incredibly friendly, respectful, and thankful. We spent about a half an hour with him, buying him lunch and an extra t-shirt and hat. We had only introduced ourselves once, and he remembered most of our names a while later! By the time we parted ways, we knew our names well, even when we tried to trick him.
Danae is the Director of Youth Ministries at KIUMC. She has a B.A. in Culinary Arts and Service Management from Paul Smiths College in Paul Smiths, NY. She has attended KIUMC for the past 8 years. Danae enjoys cooking, spending time with family and friends, and is a complete Disney Fanatic.