Grove’s Role as a Good Works Partner Church Means Chester County Homes are Warmer, Safer, and Drier.
Grove United Methodist Church of West Chester is celebrating its one-year anniversary as a Good Works Partner Church and according to Work Crew Leader, Betty Traver, “It’s been an amazing journey.”
Betty first became involved with Good Works years ago when she volunteered with her employer, SMS, for one of their “Days of Caring.”
Betty recalls her first workday as an “eye-opening experience” having never before come face to face with neighbors living in poverty. It moved her deeply. So much in fact, that after graduating from the United Way Leadership Chester County program in 2011, she pursued membership on the Good Works Board of Directors.
About that same time, Betty joined Grove United Methodist Church outside of West Chester. In an effort to meet new people and learn more about the church, she joined its Church & Society Committee, which focuses on outreach missions to assist those in need. She began asking new friends from the church to join her on Good Works workdays, and a team began to form as they committed to one workday per quarter. Betty appreciated that Good Works assigned her nascent team to an experienced work crew leader and technical team and the bond between them formed quickly. Before she knew it, the Grove Team was coming once a month and taking homes from start to finish.
Betty recalls the Grove Team coming to the aid of a homeowner whose mobile home had been crushed by a fallen tree during the Ice Storm of 2014. “It was a defining moment for our team when we completed and dedicated that home” she said. With their experience growing, the team adopted another home in Coatesville, and tech-savy Greg Walters joined long-time volunteers, Dan Wiant, Penny Zimmerman, Linda Schneider, Carol and Mark Sitler and a growing number of dedicated volunteers. The Grove UMC team had reached critical mass. It was time to become a full-fledged Good Works Partner Church, and in March 2016, they completed the transformation into an independent work team under the leadership of church members.
Betty assumed the role of Work Crew Leader and Greg the Technical Advisor. The team is supported by photographer, Laura Luther, and by their fabulous Lunch Coordinator, Denny Sheffler. Betty maintains that Grove UMC is the best fed team in Good Works because “Denny provides a delicious, natural, heart healthy menu each workday including salads and fruit.”
“The best part of being a Good Works Partner Church is getting to know the people we are serving.
We love seeing the work get done, but more importantly we enjoy building relationships, breaking down language barriers, working together, and having fun with the family,” Betty concludes, “and as we serve, our own faith is tested and grows.”
The Grove UMC team serves every second Saturday in Coatesville and started repairing their third home as a Partner Church in March 2017.