Thursday update: 1st Corn beef & Cabbage 'full on dinner' was awesome! Wow Richard Frank, you out did yourself on this one!!! The Charleston crew, Darlene, Rich and I all sat down for a huge dinner and no one really wanted to go back to work.
Today: 2 trips to Dexter Lumber for insulation today, a couple trips to Tillson True Value. The crew put insulation up on the 1st floor and Contractor J. Wilbur was going right behind them hanging drywall!!! Kitchen area is going fast. With only 2 crew members & supervisor Rob and Jonathan they have gotten so much done today!
The crew also cleaned off the deck of ice and tried to de-ice the sidewalk. I enjoy working with the Charleston crew very much, as do other DRDC board members.
For those of you who don't know, Charleston Correctional Facility is a minimum security prison and they provide free labor to many non-profit organizations and municipalities in Central Maine. The crew members come with a supervisor and range from 1 or 2 to a crew, to up to 5 (as we have had) or big jobs even 2 crews.
Since we started our project just over 2 1/2 years ago, the Charleston crews have volunteered hundreds of hours helping us to create our store. They started when the old building needed heavy duty gutting on all 3 floors and 2 crews came and I was there long enough to get them started and then left.
Last winter a crew of an average of 4 plus supervisor came to tear out layers of the floor on the 2nd story and then laid subfloor and then a beautiful hardwood floor using both new wood donated by a farmer Brown and recycled flooring from the building. From then on, I have worked along with them personally and have enjoyed earning trust & respect for one another and become a sorta mother figure for some of the younger guys. They tell me their stories, in their own time, and say how stupid it was and in some cases I have even said “yup, that was stupid”! … and we laugh in a knowing way.
This week, (a new crew) came and have been insulating, helping with dry wall and tomorrow a lot of different tasks and already they want to bring their families back when the store is open. We, DRDC & I are very grateful for all they help that they give, but also for the respect we give one another and getting to know their stories and how they feel good about 'giving back' by working in the community and helping nonprofits. I enjoy each day working with these men and knowing that we all are helping one another, and HOPEFULLY it will be a turning point in their lives. But we must remember when judging and not knowing the whole story, "there but for the grace of God, go I".
Sorry I went on, but I felt it was worth mentioning….