Those in the Silver Valley that have been in need of a little help with this or that around the house have been able to count on Idaho Servant Adventures and AmeriCorps/National Civilian Community Corps for help.
For 12 summers in a row now, kind-hearted volunteers from both organizations have descended upon Shoshone County (and surrounding areas) to donate their time so someone in a tough spot can have a better day.
In just the little time they have been working in the area this year, the joint teams consisting of roughly 350 individuals (youths and adults) from five different states have already handled several different projects.
One project in particular that the News-Press was on hand to observe on June 24 was a fencing project in Pinehurst.
ISA Team 3 and AmeriCorps/NCCC Gold 8 have been working at the home of Dee Whitaker, 73, who needed desperate help with her aging backyard fence and front yard walking path.
The volunteers worked tirelessly to remove the old wood fence and drive in new posts for a new, stronger fence. This process involved digging up old concrete and large rocks to make room for the new posts. Renting an auger was needed after using a traditional post hole digger was just not getting the job done.
“We (she and other seniors) just really appreciate it because there’s just no way we could do this ourselves,” Whitaker said of the volunteers. “It’s just a blessing and they’re all just so wonderful.”
The joint teams helped replace walking path stones in the front yard as well.
In the past, Shoshone Mountain Retreat’s (part of Lutherhaven Ministries) Idaho Servant Adventures program worked alone on these projects, but the number of servants got a big boost two years ago when AmeriCorps/NCCC joined their cause.
These AmeriCorps servants not only help with the hands-on side of things, but they also play a large role in reaching out to local individuals, organizations and businesses to line up projects to work on.
Going from now until Aug. 8, teams from both groups (either one or both) will be available for a wide variety of projects.
Types of projects that they have completed in the past include home repair, yard work, light construction, kids’ programs, heavy cleaning, wood splitting, elderly assistance, work with the disabled, parks improvement and trail work.
Typically, the homeowner, organization or business that the servants are volunteering for provide the funds for work materials and ISA provides the free labor. Other options are available though for those who can only provide a portion of the funding.
“We are looking for people who need the kind of help that we can provide,” said Bonnie Miller, ISA community coordinator. “We want to match the need with the people who want to help. Also, we aren’t only about the work to be done. We encourage the volunteers to get to know the homeowner or find out what service the business provides to the community. We want to hear their story and share ours!”
Those wanting to request assistance on a project can call 208-682-2267 and leave a message with their name, number and a brief description of their project.
ISA was created in 2008, coinciding with Lutherhaven Ministries’ purchase of Shoshone Mountain Retreat from the United States Forest Service in 2009. Lutherhaven Ministries had operated the retreat since 1998.
To learn more about Idaho Servant Adventures and AmeriCorps/NCCC, visit www.idahoservantadventures.com and www.americorps.gov/nccc.