Volunteers From St. Vincent Martyr, St. Patrick's Fix Up Homes in Appalachia
Each summer, over a period of five weeks, youth and adults from the two parishes drive to Preston County, West Virginia, to repair homes in the impoverished community. Each week an average of 45 people work together on projects to improve homes and trailers.
Some of the projects completed during Week 4 were:
- Replacing broken window
- Sheetrocking ceilings and walls
- Building new roofs to prevent leaks
- Installing a handicap ramp
- Updating electrical service
- Installing new carpeting
- Installing gutters and soffits
- Installing vinyl siding
The program is coordinated by AnneMarie Gisoldi from St. Vincent Martyr and Maggie Grady from St. Patrick's Church. They organize fundraisers throughout the year to pay for food and building supplies. Once in Appalachia, Fred Mercadante, who went on the trip as a teenager and has returned every year for the past 26 years, oversees the work crews that visit the job sites.