The Upshur Cooperative Parish House in Buckhannon has amassed a new milestone in volunteer hours by work teams coming into the area to repair homes. Volunteers from outside the region have logged more than 10,000 hours building wheelchair ramps, insulating homes and performing a variety of other projects.
"This is a truly an amazing amount of work by these volunteers," said Upshur Parish House Director Alicia Rapking. "Crews from around West Virginia and surrounding states have given up their summer vacations to help families in our communities that sometimes do not have the ability to do these projects themselves."
Rapking noted that volunteers from Upshur County often travel to other locations to do home repair there as well. By doing so, each location is able to sustain its sometimes much-needed privacy.
"The criteria for this program is 'safe, warm and dry,'" explained Rapking. "We work to ensure that each family's basic needs are met first - and the standards are set by an oversight committee made of community members to ensure prioritizing those needs."
Rapking credited the success to volunteer organizer Kim Walls and to the new director of the program, Roy Mick.
"These two individuals made this program happen," Rapking said. "If it were not for them, a lot of homes this summer would not have been repaired."