Friday, 21 July 2017

Friday: Cedar Point

We had a fantastic time at Cedar Point today and celebrated our week together this evening with a time of worship led by our seniors. We're grateful for an amazing week and the experiences we've been blessed to have here in Sandusky. See you tomorrow back at the church around 1 pm!

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Thursday: In Pictures

So we had a fantastic day today! Our final day of service work in Sandusky. But today we just did the opposite of what our groups did yesterday, so you already have all the descriptions. Pictures will tell the story of today as well as words would.

Just look at those faces. Gwen, Shelby, Ava, Mary, Jessica, and Kate. I swear they're having fun. 

See?! I told you. Tons of fun!

Mmm swampy. 

Terminator Stacey. Phragmite Terminator. 

Eric didn't know she was the Terminator. 

Who doesn't love a good tortoise?

Man, the new paint on that hydrant really brings out the America in that background. 

Speaking of backgrounds, this has been ours for the week. A+

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Wednesday: Sticky and Successful

After two successful days working at the museum with OVH, today we split into two groups to work with some new organizations here in Sandusky. With a day of 90 degree heat and 80% humidity, it was a stark contrast from the barely 80 and perfect breeze of the last two days.

First, group one went to the Nehemiah center which is about a fifteen minute walk from the church. Nehemiah was an old school building purchased and repurposed as a summer day program for kids in the Sandusky area. Our students got to hang out and play with the kids who were there today, as well as work on some improvement projects for the building.

At the same time, group two walked around the corner from the church to the fire station, where we got to work downtown Sandusky repainting the fire hydrants.

In the afternoon, group two went out to work with Back to the Wild nature rehabilitation center. Back to the Wild takes in injured or otherwise unfit wildlife and when possible rehabilitates them and releases them back into the wild. They take in thousands of animals per year, the majority of whom are successfully released back into their natural habitat. We got to clean cages of poop, feathers, bugs,, half eaten dinners (mice/rats/worms/etc) and who knows what else. We also got to bathe and feed the 50+ turtles and tortoises at the center.

While group two was at Back to the Wild, group one spent the afternoon with the Ohio DNR at Old Woman's Creek. They got to put shoulder high waders on and take a boat out into the marsh so they could get into the water and remove invasive species. They might've looked cool, but they smelled awful!

Tomorrow both groups get to swap and experience what the other group experienced today. We're looking forward to our last day of service together here!

Alex, Lucy and Emily waist deep in the marsh

Showing off their new digs

Just a couple of gloriously patriotic Bald Eagles. NBD. 

Nathan found a friend at Nehemiah Center!

This fox looks a lot like a dog. Slept all day, just like a dog. Unfortunately, that's why he's here, because someone thought he'd make a good pet and then realized the hard way that foxes aren't dogs. 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Tuesday: OVH Round Two

Today for taco Tuesday we went back to the Ohio Veterans Home to finish what we started yesterday. Although today mixed in a little more excitement because everyone got to start the day with a ride in the Jeep! It's not just for looks.

We finished packing away the discharge papers (there were a lot) and cleaned out the attic and a few neglected closets as well. The students got their first taste of M.A.S.H. as there was a VHS collection set upstairs near the library.

Of course, Dwayne and the team at OVH wanted to thank us for giving two days of our time to help them with a project that they said has needed to be done for three years, so they brought lunch to us today. We had hotdogs and salads and chips and soda; our own little cookout.

Tomorrow we split into two groups and each group will double up and tackle two projects - working with four organizations total. We're looking forward to another great day here in Sandusky and find it hard to believe we're already half done with our work.

Now for the real reason we're all here: photos! Did I mention the peacocks? OVH has peacocks that live on the grounds.

Lainey, Olivia, Abbie, and Becca

Emily vacuuming the attic stairs

Library crew working on discharge letters

Nothing here required a hard hat. That didn't stop Sean

Monday, 17 July 2017

Monday: Ohio Veterans Home

 Good evening from Sandusky!

Today we worked on a great project at the Ohio Veterans Home. One of two veterans homes in the state, OVH houses almost 600 veterans on a property that spans 99 acres. They have a pond, a basketball court, a putt putt course, and even a museum on their campus. Today we got to work in the museum.

We spent the day sweeping, mopping, organizing, disposing, glass cleaning, wood polishing and anything else that needed to be done inside the three story museum. There are tons of rooms with different memorabilia from each of the wars that have been fought with American soldiers. Whether it's uniforms, or weapons/ammunition, or typewriters, or long range radios, or letters and paperwork, this place has it all.

Letters of discharge for soldiers from the Civil War era (!!!)

Parade Jeep that gets parked out front 


Lea reading a series of love letters between a soldier and his girlfriend

An original US flag from 1865

(Left to right) Ryan, Soldier, Gas Mask, Allison

Alex found a new coat!

So patriotic!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Made it to Sandusky!

We made it!

After a whirlwind trip with a few unexpected surprises, we arrived in Sandusky this evening with a dinner of Cameo Pizza waiting for us.

We unpacked our things, got acclimated to our new space, and we spent some time getting to know each other better and talking about what to expect for our week together.

A full week of service alongside the people of Sandusky awaits, so we're off to bed to be well rested in anticipation of what's to come. We'll be working with the Ohio Veteran's Home, the Nehemiah Center, the Ohio DNR, the Sandusky Fire Department, and Back to the Wild nature rehabilitation center this week, so check back to see a piece of what we experience.

Thanks for your prayers of safe travel, and your continued prayers for us into the week.

Check back tomorrow!

Friday, 30 June 2017

BOS 2017

The BOS (Burger of Service) originated in 2009 in Elkhart, Indiana after an interesting adult grilling experience. Since it has been awarded each year, and subsequently lived in the respective winner's freezer for a year.  Tonight the 2016 BOS, Sam VanMeter awarded the new BOS with this sought after title. The ninth holder of this title takes home the actual original burger to its seventh home. We congratulate, and celebrate, Noah Stubbs, as the 2017 BOS! 

The BOS Family Tree
2009 - Claudia Benz - Elkhart
2010 - Zak Aker - Louisville 
2011 - Ben Higgins - Indiana University
2012 - Olivia Benz - Hanover
2013 - Alex Reese - Indianapolis 
2014 - Mary Stafford - University of Illinois
2015 - Nathan Higgins - Olney 
2016 - Sam VanMeter - Cincinnati, OH
2017 - Noah Stubbs - Purdue University