Remember Speed Dating?

Well, this is Speed Blogging – my attempt to get this little corner of the internet caught up! Here we go-
February project – Word of Life Conference Center! I did a bit of sharing about our time there, but I don’t think I ever mentioned that we were able to enjoy many of the speakers and concerts that are held there during the winter months!
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While WOL’s main mission is to disciple young people, this particular location is also home to a large RV community of (mostly) seniors. We didn’t realize it when we signed up, but there were several retired SOWERs in the RV park and also in the general area that we were able to connect with! Another surprise connection was when I ran into a friend from Montrose, PA. I guess I know more snowbirds than I thought! But while it was fun to interact with the guests and speakers, it was even lovelier to work with a great SOWER team. One couple we’d known since our early days, one couple we’d worked with more recently, and one couple we’d never met before. I love it when our SOWER family grows!
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Next was my weekend back in Pennsylvania. Check.
Back from PA and on to the SOWER Florida Reunion/Rally. Check.

Our time here at Hope Children’s Home. Wow! I hardly know where to start! We’re in our final days serving at this ministry, and it’s been a grand three weeks. This time there was a nice long job list (for the guys especially), and we all just Got.To.It.  Here’s my Group Leader Report for this month:
We all kept very busy. Two of the ladies helped out in the kitchen each day,- helping with meal prep and also cleaning and organizing supplies. The other two ladies did some cleaning along with sorting and organizing various donation areas. The men worked on repairing and repainting fencing, and then pressure washed and stained many sets of steps (with over 1000 spindles!), decks, houses, and other fences. We enjoyed helping with the annual GIANT yard sale – both in organizing and shopping! We had a group outing to enjoy some strawberry shortcakes and enjoyed several game nights. It was wonderful to learn about the ministry of Hope Children’s Home – and be a small part of their mission to rescue children.
First the work –
After the guys finished repairing and repainting the front fence (no photo documentation of that, sorry), the guys moved on to painting and power washing almost the entire campus – or so it seemed!
Menpaintingspindles
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Two of the ladies (and the SOA (longer-term SOWER)) worked in the kitchen every day,  preparing meals for the students and volunteers. And when they weren’t cooking, they were organizing supplies, cleaning chairs, and lending a hand wherever it was needed.   Sondra and I concentrated mostly on donations. Now this ministry relies almost exclusively on donations, and donations of food, household products, clothing, etc., etc., etc. arrive almost every day. And all of those donations require massive amounts of organization. We sorted and organized and tidied and repackaged. And did a bit of cleaning too!
Many donations go to their two thrift stores, but certain items stay on campus to be used by the houseparents of the cottages or by the various staff that live on campus.
Like the Clothes closet –
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or the can shed –
Can Shed
or maybe the household goods room –
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Every year they also have a Giant Yard Sale (and I mean GIANT!)
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Shoes – $2.00/pair
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Clothes  – $10/bag (large white trash bag) or a $1 per item.
There were lots of new-in-box type bargains, plenty of gently used items, and a nice selection of furniture. It was advertised as 10,000 items, and I can easily believe it!  We SOWERs ladies got to help with the set-up and pricing – and then we came back to help support the ministry by shopping! I came away with lots of treasures – now to  find places for all of these wonderful new items.
But it wasn’t all spraying and sorting and shopping – there were some fun outings too!
Like a field trip to have some famous Plant City Strawberry Shortcake –
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or an afternoon in Tarpon Springs, complete with sponges
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and flaming Greek food!
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This was a great project to wrap up our Florida winter! We made new friends, were introduced to a wonderful ministry, and enjoyed some of the sights (and food delights) of the area!
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Well, I’m not sure just how speedy this post was – but at least I’m officially up to date! We head on our next adventure tomorrow – which might just be our biggest one yet! Stay tuned!!
Happy Spring, friends,
Steph

 

One thought on “Remember Speed Dating?”

  1. I’m tired just looking and hearing about your group’s ’to do’ list but you all look so happy!
    And so does the campus after your hard work.
    Did you ever get to hold any babies?
    Would love to hear how the antique doll story is coming and putting the tiny wedding dress in a shadow box sounds great.
    So glad to have seen you and Joie last month…
    It was a hard but wonderful reunion, Steph. My head is still spinning but it will get better. Put my name on a piece of strawberry short cake and enjoy it before you take off for your next
    project. Love you.

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