Project Appalachia helps repair natural destruction

By Ryan Norris
February 21, 2003

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Project Appalachia is a break from studies to live together in a community year to meet people in various towns in West Virginia who are in need of home repairs.

“Project Appalachia is the longest running continuous service project that Cabrini students have done as a spring break alternative trip,” Mary Laver, coordinator of Community Outreach and Partnerships, said.

There are a variety of organizations in West Virginia that Cabrini is going to use to find those people in need of home or building repair. Laver said, “Last year and this year we are focusing on repairing and refurbishing homes and churches of natural destruction.”

Laver said they were worrying of a third flood this upcoming weekend.

West Virginia has lovely mountains with deep valleys and they are beautiful, but they can be treacherous when it comes to flooding. “The power of water can be fun, but it can also damage homes,” Laver said.

West Virginia, right now, has the highest rate of homeowners and also the poorest homeowners, according to Laver.

With Project Appalachia, those going to help will be giving their time and support, and also have to fund for this event. They have to have money to get there and back, gas and tolls, for food to feed themselves, the heating and electric bill for where they are staying and also for building supplies. They are getting this money through the help of fundraising. So far they have had the Joe Corbi Pizza fundraiser, which has been a traditional fundraiser for Project Appalachia. They also sold Valentine’s flowers, raffle tickets and sent out letters for people to donate money towards this event. “Cabrini’s Campus has been very generous,” said Laver. Even faculty, staff and alumni have donated money for this event.

There are many new students attending Project Appalachia. There are four leaders for the project this year, including: Maureen Cooper, Josh Dzielak, Colleen Hoy and Kristen Parks. Laver said, “the leaders have been terrific at getting people together. The fundraisers would have been possible without them.”

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Ryan Norris

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