Information about... Housing Problems in Central Appalachia
The Operation Appalachia Ministry at Notre Dame is a dedicated group of skilled and unskilled adults and youths who spend one week of their own time each summer repairing homes in Preston County, West Virginia. Projects include patching leaky roofs, replacing broken windows, painting, plumbing, flooring, and many other home repairs.
In return for their efforts, the team brings home a great sense of satisfaction in helping to improve the living conditions of the county's poor and elderly. Our volunteers often gain a valuable lesson from those they have helped - gratitude for what they have been given. It is an honor and a pleasure to be God's hands amongst His children.
This summer will mark our 21st trip to Preston County. In return, the team brings home a great sense of satisfaction in helping to improve the living conditions of the county's poor and elderly, as well as learning some valuable lessons from those we have helped.
How We Get To our destination...
Each year the adults and youth of Operation Appalachia raise funds for the trip primarily through three events:
- A Craft Fair in the Fall
- The sale of Alternative Christmas Cards
- A Tricky Tray in the Spring.
We also rely upon contributions from members of the Parish, corporations, and other private donors.
Would You Like To Help?
If you would like to make a financial contribution, you may send it to our Parish Office, Attention: Operation Appalachia. Checks should be made payable to Notre Dame of Mt. Carmel - Operation Appalachia.
Next Meeting: Wednesday, January 8th, 8pm in the Parish Center.
Alternative Christmas Cards: Volunteers are needed to sell Alternative Christmas Cards at each of the weekend Masses throughout Advent.
Planning for The Trip
Date of 2013 trip: July 28th to August 3rd
Packing Suggestions: Please review the Individual Packing List and Team Packing List for reminders of dress guidelines and what to bring.
Important Process Changes in 2013 - Please Read Below
- Online forms are no longer available. Forms will be given out during the meeting or may be picked up in the parish office.
- Registration forms should be handed in by July 1st, allowing time to plan teams.
- Registration fee is now waived
- Background check must be completed prior to attending Virtus
Before applications may be received, we have a number of guidelines and requirements:
Volunteer Credit System: Fellowship is at the heart of our ministry. The Volunteer Credit System gives everyone the chance to meet one another before we head to West Virginia. Through the monthly meetings and the fund-raising events, we get to know one another while supporting the needs of Operation Appalachia. Check the many ways to help in Getting Credits . The credits help encourage everyone to particpate throughout the year. However, we never want the credit system to be a deterrent to joining us in West Virginia. All are welcome. If you have any questions, please e-mail NotreDameOpAp@gmail.com.
Age Requirement: Anyone 16 years or older may participate in the trip to Appalachia without an accompanying parent or guardian. For those under the age of 16, you must be entering at least the 9th grade by the September following the trip.
Background Checks: Required for anyone 18 or over, or anyone who has not had a background check completed within the last three years. A new online process is available for background checks. Please contact Marilyn for details, email@example.com or call 973-538-1358, Ext. 121.
The background check must be completed before attending Virtus. You may schedule both at the same time, but you must have the background done prior to VIRTUS.
Virtus Training: Required for anyone 18 or over who has not already taken the training. To find an upcoming Virtus training, click HERE. You may learn more about the Protecting God's Children at Paterson Diocese site or the Virtus site. Pre-registration to a Virtus session is required. As Virtus training is only given a few times a year in our area, it is important to register and attend as soon as possible.
Required Information and Forms for All Traveling to Appalachia
Update (May 2, 2013): APPLICATIONS NOW AVAILABLE!
COMPLETE SET OF APPLICATION FORMS: now available in the parish office and at the monthly meetings.
Applications for the 2013 trip will be received between now and July1st. . Completed forms may be brought to the parish office or to the monthly meetings. However, anyone over 18 who is considering the trip should schedule Virtus Training and Background Check as soon as possible, to ensure all requirements are met. SPECIAL NOTE on Registration Fee: We are now waiving the $20 housing registration fee. We want to encourage everyone to join us, without any concern for this cost.
New in 2013, the required forms are being updated and will only be available in hard copy. Once the new forms are finalized, they will be given out at the meetings and will be available in the parish office. The complete application must include: VIRTUS training certificate (or date of training if certificate not available), Office of Safe Environment Form, Paterson Diocese Code of Conduct Form, Skills Survery, Volunteer Information Form, and Health History Questionnaire.....For anyone 18 or over at the time of the trip and who has not already been finger-printed, the form for a background check should have been competed and processed through Marilyn Zarzycki.
IMPORTANT: Please read the Paterson Diocese Code of Conduct and the Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia Sexual Abuse Policy.
Policies and Guidelines - please read all policies and guidelines.
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