Would you like to take part in this year’s Appalachian Experience trip?
A group is organizing to serve in this ministry the week of June 17-24, 2017.
There will be an organizational meeting on
Sunday, March 3, at 9:30 a.m. in Hughes Hall.
For details, please contact Dan & Sean Fejes
or the Parish Office (330-274-2253).
Members of St. Joseph's in Mantua have been participating in this outreach effort since 1998. Participants volunteer for a variety of household repairs at owner occupied homes of low-income residents of southwestern Virginia.
Beginning in 2017, adults and high school teens will be participating in the Binns-Counts Community Center's Housing Repair Program (parent company is McClure River Valley Community Development Center). A non-profit grassroots organization established in 1974, the center is committed to education, health care and decent housing for all. They are directed by a board of community people and staffed mainly by volunteers and work in partnership with college, community and church groups.
From 1998 until the end of July, 2016, Sister Jean Korkisch, C.S.C. (Sisters of the Holy Cross), who is based at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Clintwood, (Dickenson County) Virginia, coordinated the Housing Repair Program. Born in upstate New York and growing up in Maryland, Sister Jean came to Dickenson County, Virginia, in 1983. She first worked with the housing repair program at Binns-Counts Community Center (then in Nora, VA). In 1998, she began the St. Joseph's Housing Repair Program at St. Joseph's in Clintwood. This program ended due to changing diocesan regulations and other concerns. The hope is that this work continues with high school & college students joining the efforts of the Binns-Counts program.
Over one-third of the housing in Dickenson County is mobile homes or trailers. These are much less sturdy then traditional housing and require more upkeep. Added to this are aging wooden frame houses in which many elderly live. For low-income residents, especially senior citizens, the maintenance costs for their homes are too much.
This situation lead McClure River Valley Development Center to begin housing repair at its startup in 1974. Today, that program continues and depends on outside groups of volunteers from churches, schools and colleges. These groups come for a week and stay at the "Bunk House" at the Binns-Counts Center. Volunteers should be prepared to do some hard work, meet new people, and learn new things. Cultural events, local site-seeing, and discussions around Appalachian issues are also a part of the experience. There is time during their stay for the volunteers to visit the area, especially the nearby Breaks Interstate Park, to hear the bluegrass music, and to get acquainted with the community. Many groups return year after year.
1998 (July 25-Aug 1)
3 Participants - Wendy Trares, Dan Fejes, Ben Kotkowski w/group from OLPH, Aurora
Projects & Activities: Sally's installation of drinking water tank, insulated plumbing, built 2 sets of steps, made gravel walkways.
1999 (July 31-Aug. 7)
20 Particpants - Wendy & George Trares, Bob, Kathy & Dan Fejes, Erin Tayerle, Jim Fields, Ken Puchowicz, Ben, Alice & Ross Kotkowski, Tom Horvath, Lauren & Allyson Krupar, Barbara Jaynes, Linda Dvorak, Marie & Erin Minard, Bill Curtin, Alex Kavouras
Projects & Activities: Connie's roof; Rita Belle's painting, flooring, fireproof wallboard around stove; Aurora's deck/ramp; Johnny & Mary's porch roof, replacement / painting of crawl space wood (near Dorothy Baker House) [Breaks Inter-State Park; Ken Childress; pool party at parishioner's home; John Porter, former coal miner; Geraldine Scardo, chip mill industry]
2000 (June 10-17)
4 Participants - Linda Dvorak, Dan Fejes, Erin Tayerle, Erin Minard
2000 (July 29-Aug. 5)
17 Participants - Wendy, George, Kathi Trares, Erin Tayerle, T.J. Dick, Jim Fields, Erin & Marie Minard, Bill Curtin, Alex Kavouras, Aaron Burnett, Lauren Krupar, Ben, Liz, Alice & Ross Kotkowski, Dan Fejes, Megan Zuver
Projects & Activities: Billy & Myrtle Mullins' ramp (rolled roofing); Nina's deck re-staining, trailer skirting repainting, wiring, roof gooping; Sandra DeLouch caulking, electrical, window blinds, clean-up; roof on hill; wiring @ Dorothy Baker House/Church & Ralph Stanley's homestead [visited Breaks State Park; attended Dickenson County Fair - Danny & the Jrs.]
2001 (July 28-Aug. 4)
19 Participants - Erin & Marie Minard, Linda Dvorak, Jennifer Sweet, Dan Fejes, Wendy, Kathi & George Trares, Erin Tayerle, Liz, Alice, Ben & Ross Kotkowski, Cheryl Reville, Jim Fields, Alex Kavouras, Lauren Krupar, Dan Fejes, Megan Zuver (stayed all summer)
Projects & Activities: Josie Rose's painting outside of house, bathroom, utility room; Rebel Spahn's flooring & window caulking; Jarvis' phone line, rat-wire, AC; railing on white house; bedroom ceiling, gutters (house w/methane smell; lady on oxygen); emergency roof & bedroom ceiling; (attended Dickenson County Fair-Ralph Stanley) Ben's Transmission died [Ben & Alice sun burnt/heat exhaustion]
2002 (June 29- July 6)
4 Participants - Marie & Erin Minard, Bill Curtin, Erin Tayerle (not Trares' - Boston)
2003 (June 28-July 5)
9 Participants - George, Kathi, James & Jeff Trares, Bill Curtin, Dan Fejes, Barb, Mike & Courtney Shilling
Projects & Activities: Susan Adams - painting newly installed cabinets and walls and ceiling, lining the inside of the cabinets with scrap linoleum after taking care of an ant problem, installed GFCI outlets in kitchen and bath, replaced front door, trim was added to kitchen window and front door, screen door repairs; Delmar Baker Trailer - removed old carpeting, reinforced a bedroom floor, removed and replaced the bathroom sink and cabinet, put down luan and linoleum on the kitchen, hallway and bathroom floors, fixed kitchen plumbing (dishes were being done in the bathtub), added a drain pipe to the refrigerator, installed closet shelf brackets, lined inside of cabinets with scrap linoleum, installed a door for hot water heater area, replaced a fuse box door and repaired electrical outlets, carpeted the girls' bedroom, caulked, installed molding, patched porch roof leaks, finished putting insulation under the trailer, and added temporary steps for the back door (Trares enjoyed 4th festivities)
2004 - No Participants
2005 (June 25-July 2)
8 Participants - George, Kathi, James & Jeff Trares, Jessica Lovick, Bill Curtin, Barb & Mike Shilling
Projects & Activities: Sr. Bernie's kitchen floor, counter top w/sink; basement clean-up & patio floor, shed steps, re-staining railing, building patio block walkways / steps (toured Health Wagon, 4th World Movement presentation)
2006 (June 24-July 1)
10 Participants - George, Kathi, James & Jeff Trares, Jessica Lovick, Bill Curtin, Paul, Barb & Mike Shilling, Linda Dvorak
Projects & Activities: Chris & Misty's roof & porches, kitchen ceiling & painting, installing window; Bill replaced locks at Health Wagon & installed light at Kennedy's home (coal mining talk, Fanelli's 4th World Movement facility completion visit, videos)
2007 (June 23-30)
12 Participants - George, Kathi & Jeff Trares, Mike, B arb & Jake Shilling, Renee Wiggins, Alex & Nate DeHoff, Andrew Burns, Brittany Pallay, Grayce Kesic
Projects & Activities: Alpha's double wide on Reedy Ridge - water repairs; porch roof; powerwash & re-staining front & back porches; repairing, scraping & repainting porch railings; painting kitchen floor; caulking windows; painting gutters & down spouts (preparation for reinstallation later). Alma's modular home on Caney Ridge - building frames & installation of underpinning; replacement of ramp; installing French drain; adding another set of steps. (swimming, Fanelli's 4th World Movement Co-Op Learning Center's musicians' session, coal mining talk)
2008 (June 21-28)
9 Participants - George, Kathi & Jeff Trares, Mike & Barb Shilling (from St. Joe's), Jackie Kable, Marisa Grondin, Amanda Scopilliti (from St. Ambrose, Garrettsville) & Toni Schill (from OLPH, Aurora)
Projects & Activities: Wayne's 1927 family home 2 blocks from Dorothy Baker house in Clintwood - porch improvements (leveling, window & shutter installation, siding, painting), cleared brush & weeds from yard, defined flower beds & mulched, replaced wooden fence, painted metal lawn chairs, painted outside trim of windows, caulking, sorted & cleaned several rooms; mulched at Dorothy Baker House (hiking & paddle boats at Break's Inter-State Park, visited Fanelli's 4th World Movement Co-Op Learning Center & Sr. Bernie, enjoyed musicians & refreshments at MAW's - Mountain Art Works, coal mining talk)
2009 (June 20-27)
4 Participants - George, Kathi & Jeff Trares, Barb Colin
Projects & Activities: Ken Childress' 1911 family home - new wooden steps with railing to street & mailbox, 150+ block paver walkway with railing from front door to bridge to driveway, stepping stone path from front walkway to new steps, program workers scraped & painted front porch (toured Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center, parish picnic & entertainment, visited Fanelli's 4th World Movement Co-Op Learning Center, John W. Flannagan Dam & Reservoir, Birch Knob Observation Tower)
2010 (Jun e 19-26)
6 Participants - George, Kathi, James & Jeff Trares, Mike Shilling, Jay D'Aurelio
Projects & Activities: Finished up at previous week's home in Clintwood with window frame painting, staining stairs, covering hole in attic & putting up storm windows. Crystal's double-wide trailer with additions in Clinchco - replaced soft spots in living room and kitchen floors then installed stick on tiles; painting & caulking in bathroom, living room, hallway, kitchen & trim; applied sealer coating to roof; installed bathroom vanity, sink & toilet; replaced/added downspouting; added siding to outside; installed new outside door; repaired & reinforced doorway/step area; hung blinds in living room, mirror in bedroom; moved in donated couch & chair (hiking & paddle boats at Break's Inter-State Park, parish picnic, visited 4th World Movement Co-Op Learning Center, enjoyed "Pickin' in the Pound", Birch Knob Observation Tower)
2011 (June 18-25)
7 Participants - Greg & Jay D'Aurelio, Mike Shilling, Ann & Paula Toothman, Corey Riggs, Ryan Bell, Patrick Myers, Dane Engelhart
Projects & Activities: Faye's trailer flooring, under pinning, landscaping, painting trim & deck; Lucille & Bob's porch/deck bracing, siding on one side of house, scraping to get ready for next group; Catherine & husband's deck & ramp additions for gurney and dug ditch for water run off (Break's Inter-State Park, parish picnic & Ken Childress & Jimmy Mullins, coal miner talk, enjoyed "Pickin' in the Pound", Birch Knob Observation Tower, Jettie Baker Center entertainment)
7/24/11 - Ken Childress, folk singer and storyteller from Clintwood, VA, who passed away from a heart attack. He faithfully entertained groups each week who participated in the Housing Repair Program spring, summer, and fall. As one past participant put it so well, "Ken touched the hearts and funny bones of many people here in Portage County as well as the rest of the country. He will be missed but fondly remembered in our hearts."
2012 (June 16-23)
11 Participants - Caitlin Chartier, Bill Curtin, Joe & Nate Daczko, Dane Engelhart, Dan & Sean Fejes, Mike Shilling, Patrick Myers, George & Kathi Trares
Projects & Activities: Jason & Mandy's deck with steps, railing & roof and back porch. Joe's back porch decking, painting & skirting, rain barrel covers, down spouts attached, house washed. Larry & Lizzie's ramp attached to house. Cleaning & organizing of wood storage basement at Dorothy Baker House. (Break's Inter-State Park, parish picnic with Jimmy Mullins & Kathy Reynolds, 4th World Movement Center visit, enjoyed "Pickin' in the Pound", Birch Knob Observation Tower, Bear Pen Swimming Pool, bonfire at Sr. Jean's)
2013 (June 15-22)
12 Participants - Nathan Bell, Caitlin, Jerry & Gerald Chartier, Bill & Brandon Curtin, Dan & Sean Fejes, Vince Festa, Dan Gooding, George & Kathi Trares
Projects & Activities: Dorothy Baker House bathroom removal of old showers, replacing floor & window, prep for washer/dryer & flower beds; Jason & Mandy's new bedroom wall, door, window repairs, drywall & painting; Sr. Bernie's stairway improved with cement & wooden platforms; Billie and Ms. Vance's wider doorway to accommodate a wheelchair, electrical work and roof repairs, installed gutters and soffit, and back door replacement. (Break's Inter-State Park, parish picnic with Jimmy Mullins & Kathy Reynolds, 4th World Movement Center visit, enjoyed "Pickin' in the Pound" & Pickin' on the Porch")
2014 (June 14-21)
10 Participants - Nathan Bell, Bill Curtin, Joe & Joey Daczko, Dan & Sean Fejes, Vince Festa, Jim Schweickert, George & Kathi Trares
Projects & Activities: Reshingled roof of Loretta Cox’s double-wide trailer, replaced sheathing & ceiling on porch roof, added new souffet, roof vent, sealed vent pipes & chimney areas.
Power washed sidewalks & St. Joseph statue at church & Dorothy Baker House. Multiple projects at Karen Flint’s home including: mowing grass & weed whacking; cleaning up trash from yard; power washing deck, porch & house; replacing window screens & painting trim; repairs to porch & painting; adding railing to deck stairs & staining & adding drainage; painting front door; securing & cleaning gutters & downspouts; repairing toilet seat; replacing bathroom & hallway tile & painting trim; adding & repairing underpinning; expanding driveway turn-around & spreading gravel; repairing holes in linoleum; cleaning bedroom & making clear access to rear exit. (Parish Picnic with Jimmy Mullins & guest, coal mining talk with Larry Kennedy, trip to Birch Knob area, bluegrass music in Coeburn, VA, Mexican dinner & wrap-up)
2015 (June 13-20)
11 Participants - Aaron Hluch, Bill Bash, Bill Curtin, Chris Rector, Dan & Seán Fejes, Ezra Bard, Hannah Mann, Mike Shilling, Nathan Bell, and Vince Festa
Projects & Activities: “Gooping” roofs, sealing & staining decks, renovation of a house’s back room & plumbing system including re-building floor, refortifying back wall, installing underpinning, and fixing leaky, backed-up plumbing; repairing a bathroom & gutters (Breaks Interstate Park, parish picnic & entertainment, coal miner talk, Birch Knob, Fourth World Movement, Pickin' in the Pound).
2016 (June 18-25)
12 Participants - Chris Rector, Dan Fejes, Ezra Bard, Sean Fejes, Aaron Hluch, Olivia Rocco, Claire Forrestal, Nell Simons, Molly Ridge, Mike Shilling [not pictured: Vince Festa, Bill Bash]
Projects & Activities: 1. Redoing an entire bathroom floor, repairing roof and the ceiling, fixing water damage, and building a small shed to protect family’s water heater from outdoors. 2. Removing mold and painting. 3. Redoing a roof, painting a porch, and installing new shower equipment. (Parish picnic & entertainment, Birch Knob, Fourth World Movement, Pickin' in the Pound, visiting Binns-Count).
Before starting these projects participants were informed that this would be the last year for this specific housing repair program based out of St. Joseph Church in Clintwood and headed up by Sr. Jean Korkisch, CSC. They were all deeply saddened to hear that one of their favorite weeks of the year would no longer be happening, but before they left the group met with a lady who ran another housing repair program called “Binns-Counts” just 10 minutes away from where they stayed at the time. This is where groups from St. Joseph will be continuing our program for the foreseeable future.
How Can I Get Involved?
Our parish typically sends a group each summer for a week. Average-sized, workable groups are 10-20 people. Adults and high school teens are encouraged to participate. If you have ever pounded a nail, sawed wood, laid tile, painted, hung wallpaper, or performed ordinary repairs and maintenance on your own home, you can handle the work. You won't be asked to do anything beyond your strength or skill level.
A tentative commitment from participants is needed in January or early February in order to "reserve" our group's spot. Participants are required to submit the Agreement & Permission Form and the Emergency Medical Form no later than May 15th. Expenses are covered by the groups fundraising efforts, donations and parish sponsorship. Fees for volunteer groups are $275.00 per person, per week. The fees are used to pay for lodging, materials for work projects, and related expenses. Group members are asked to participate in fundraising activities (non-members of St. Joseph Church are asked to pay or raise entire fee). In addition, food expenses of $50.00 per person for the week are raised by fundraisers and donations. Gas expenses for each vehicle are not included in the above mentioned fees and are provided by drivers, participants and/or St. Joseph Church. To date, all fees, gas and food volunteers have been covered by fundraisers, donations, and parish support (no participant out-of-pocket money has been spent on these items unless they considered it their donation).
Help support our efforts and pick up something delicious, too! The Appalachian Experience Group will be selling baked goods in the Narthex each month (typically the 3rd weekend - please refer to link in left hand column). Bigger sales are held at the St. Joseph Garden Club's Annual Christmas Boutique in November and during the Palm Sunday Pancake Breakfast. All bakers, shoppers and donators are appreciated!
Appalachian Experience Group Appreciative
Thanks to everyone who volunteered, donated, and shopped this Fall’s Rummage Sale raised $1,507.66 toward the Appalachian Experience trip June 17-24, 2017. A huge thank you to Margie Cleary & Joyce Plesotis for their many hours spent helping to put on this November 2-5 event. Their tireless dedication and support of our rummage sales and
St. Joe’s is truly appreciated. Additional volunteers who worked and/or provided food include: Dan, Sean & Brigid Fejes, George & Kathi Trares, Dale Zullo, Bill Cleary, Joyce Eyerman, Jessie LaMarca, Kathy Lassiter, Ezra Bard, and Peggy Horvath. For more info. on this outreach ministry, visit our website or contact Dan & Sean Fejes (330-274-2481 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
In 2009, we had a very successful Parish Cookbook and Tasting. With contributions from families and friends of St. Joseph Parish & School, this wonderful collection of nearly 500 treasured family recipes is a useful keepsake of many favorite culinary creations. Unfortunately, our cookbooks have sold out - thank you for your support.
In 2015, there was a Honeybaked Ham fundraiser with 15% of purchases going to the group. Thanks to everyone's support, this fundraiser saw $980.00 in sales earning a profit of $147.00!
Financial donations are most welcome and appreciated. Simply drop a check in the mail addressed to:
St. Joseph Church - Appalachian Experience
11045 St. Joseph Blvd.
Mantua, OH 44255
To help the local economy, most supplies for the Housing Repair Program in Clintwood, VA, are purchased in the area. Items that are always needed include nails, work gloves, old coffee cans, and cotton rags. Unfortunately, cargo space for hauling items to Clintwood are usually limited. Please contact the Parish Office (330-274-2253) if you need more information.