Meadville Tribune

August 3, 2013

Workers young and old donate time to help area's needy

By Konstantine Fekos
Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — Volunteers of the His Work His Way nonprofit organization at Trinity United Methodist Church hope to complete the last of their home repair projects for the area’s needy this evening, the final day of their annual community service program.

Over the past two days, workers young and old have dedicated their time to painting, repairing, drywalling, roofing and more, all in the name of fellowship and love for their neighbors. This was the second group of His Work His Way volunteers to serve this summer. The first three-day session was in June. The community service used to be a six-day event with everyone together but it was split into two last year in order to provide more flexibility for volunteers to fit the work in with their schedules.

Both sets of volunteers simply appreciate the opportunity to serve. “We want to say thanks for the opportunity to get to know you better, for inviting us to your homes and letting us accomplish a task,” said Mike Krepps, a member of the His Work His Way board of directors.

Krepps joined more than 40 volunteers. Some split into several groups to cover home improvement projects for elderly, infirm and low-income individuals living near Conneaut Lake and surrounding areas. Other groups provided support for the workers by preparing and serving meals.

One of the main projects this year was a roof replacement for a homeowner living in the Linesville area.

“It’s fun and you learn a lot to help you through the work,” said 14-year-old Clay Wrataric, who scraped shingles off the roof with other volunteers Thursday afternoon.

Wrataric has spent the past three years volunteering for His Work His Way as a congregation member of Trinity UMC.

“We consider it a local mission, serving others,” said Randy Deemer, a member of the His Work His Way board of directors. “We hope to be finished by the end of the day Saturday, weather cooperating. If not, a couple of us will stick around and finish up.”

Deemer believes he and his fellow volunteers will complete their projects on time this year, adding to the organization’s current record of about 120 finished projects.

His Work His Way takes on an average of about 28 projects each summer, he said.

“Sometimes we bite off a little more than we can chew,” Krepps laughed. “We don’t like to turn people down.”

His Work His Way accepts applications from homeowners seeking aid through Trinity UMC. Projects are selected based on the feasibility of repairs and the homeowner’s level of need.

Any work deemed unsafe for volunteers or any homeowners that don’t qualify for special aid may be declined.

Trinitiy UMC usually handles volunteer applications as well.

Some volunteers are retired and some give up vacation time to perform community service, but all are necessary for His Work His Way to operate on a yearly basis, Krepps said.

In addition to the pride in a job well done, each volunteer is rewarded with a His Work His Way t-shirt for their efforts.

“If you think you need a special skill, you just need the desire to help the community,” he added. “There’s always someone here to tell you how to do something.”



You can help

To file an application to volunteer or receive community aid, contact Trinity United Methodist Church, 240 N. 3rd St., Conneaut Lake, at (814) 382-1121.

All volunteers are required to donate $50 to His Work His Way to cover insurance, construction materials and daily meals provided by Trinity UMC.

Konstantine Fekos can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kfekos@meadvilletribune.com.