Posted on 04 August 2011.
By Tom Noreen
On July 10, youth and adults from the Cedar Springs and East Nelson United Methodist Churches headed north on the 300-mile journey to Manistique for a volunteer week with Habitat of Hiawathaland. This is the 7th time the group has worked on a mission project in the UP.
In an effort to help more people, Habitat is expanding its mission from just building and renovating homes for families. Its “Brush of Kindness” program helps provide maintenance. This year the team undercoated and put two coats of paint on Cathy’s home and storage shed plus built a 10×14 ft deck and washed her exterior windows. Next door, we insulated the floor joist cavities for Dustin and his family.
With a crew of 17, we had the house painted in three days so asked for some other projects. One crew cleaned out a Habitat house we had worked on during our first mission trip in the UP. The family had to give up the home, as they were moving out of the area for work. Another group replaced part of the floor in a 14×20 ft cabin that vandals had set on fire. A third group helped with office chores and others built walls to subdivide a room in the Blanchard Volunteer Center for families. The center currently has male and female dorms but no facilities for families. These rooms will be used both for families working and as a place for local families in a crisis. A team also put door and baseboard trim up in the men’s dorm, one bathroom and the new shower facility.
Each year the crew gets an afternoon off to see some of the local attractions. Last year we went on a Pictured Rocks boat tour. Because we were working about 50 miles north and east of Manistique, we went to Oswald’s Bear Ranch andTtahquamenon Falls State Park.
On Thursday, July 14, Habitat held a potluck for the group and the family. Joining us this year were also Tracey and her family and Jody and Jim and children. Two years ago we worked on the renovations of Tracey’s home and last year we painted and did trim work on Jody and Jim’s home. Having them join us is a tribute to the relationships made between the team and the families.
We have already set dates for next year. Mark your calendars for July 15-21.
Representatives from Cedar Springs UMC were Shelby Towers, Lauren Falicki, Ryley Clark, Kelsi Briggs, Tyler Bevier, Josh Champion, Jackie Champion, Aaron Burnside, Jake Potter, Kenny Neville, Dan Davis, Nancy Kidder, Theresa Champion, Jim Champion, and Tom Noreen. Jenny (Hendges) Pavlak and Sabina Nelson joined the group from East Nelson.