19 May 2014

work day

We had our first work day at the office of Brad's new job.  Let me explain that a little bit because I was asked a few times about this.  The organization, The Cora Reid Greene Home for Children, has two facilities.  One is a house {where we will live!}, the other is a commercial building.  The commercial building is home to:  Brad's office, a kitchen, a meeting room, and a clothing closet.  It has been used for a number of purposes and has been the catch-all for donations and other "useful" items.  It is 4000 square feet.  It hasn't been used on a regular basis for about a year.

Brad's daily work over the last few weeks was getting the place usable again.  It took him a day or two just to get his office space cleared out enough so he could begin to make phone calls and take notes.  He knew he would need help in getting the rest of the 3800 sq feet in working condition.

He set up a FB event and spread the word.  He arranged for a dumpster to be delivered. Thankfully, I think God sent the exact right number of people to help.  Too many more people and we would've been stumbling over one another.

Later Saturday evening, I asked Brad to really consider what it would've been like if it were just our family trying to clear out the place -- or just our family plus the family that volunteered to watch our littlest dudes.  The work would be so tedious and our progress would be so slow.  Shudders.

But like I said, there was the just-right-number of helpers.  The kitchen got a good deep cleaning.  The chest freezer from Montgomery Ward was removed.  Broken desks and well-worn couches were carried out as well as the surplus furniture that filled the common space.  The furniture that was still in good condition was placed near the road in hopes that somebody would be able to use it. The bins of toys were sorted so there were no longer broken and random parts mixed in with the good toys. The damaged books were removed from the shelves.   We began sorting the bags + bags of clothing that lined the walls of the clothing closet.  We didn't even begin to sort the clothes or shoes that were already on display.  The stuffed animals were all piled into a bin, they had the familiar smell of musty old building that is near impossible to remove.  The building was getting empty and the dumpster was getting full.

Eventually, people came to look at the furniture pieces near the road.  Children came to play with the stuffed animals and broken toys.  People started peering over the side of the dumpster.  There was a little confusion inside-the-building about what was happening outside-the-building. I looked out the window from the second story and was mildly surprised by the scene.  There were easily 15-20 children climbing on the furniture, each carrying a stuffed animal with them.   I saw one child carrying a chair upside down over his head.  I think he turned around about a-half-block-away to bring it back.  Cars pulled up to the curb and rolled their windows down to inquire about this furniture the kids were climbing on.  Some of the guys went out to let people know they could take whatever furniture they wanted.

Before long, lunch was delivered.  We stopped the work to give thanks and break bread.  It was nice to hear just a bit more about some of the other volunteers' stories.  There were a couple foster parents present as well as foster-parents-to-be.  There were board members too, and I was grateful to finally meet a few more of them.  One of Brad's former co-workers and his wife came out to help.  There was a good mix of folks from Cascade Hills, the community, and hard-working kiddos too.  I enjoyed just looking around the room at the people that were gathered.

A few minutes after the work resumed, a gas leak was discovered.  That put a quick halt to the work.  A handful of us sat outside chatting awhile, waiting for the gas-leak-checker-guy (not the correct job title) to arrive.  A very animated man inquired about the furniture that remained.  I didn't hear Brad's answer, but I heard the man reply, "Good Lord, I'd love to have that in my living room!"  They moved aside his selection and he made plans to come back for it shortly.  And he did.  Whoever he found to pick up the items took a few pieces as well.

There were a few items still sitting in the parking lot near the building when I left.  I figured they wouldn't be there the next day {which was fine.} 

The gas-leak-checker-guy did end up finding two gas leaks.  He was able to shut off the gas and thankfully it wasn't worse.  Brad, Wilson, and Walker were the only ones around when he left so they just shut everything up for the night.

Brad went by yesterday to pick some stuff up that he had left.  He spent a good chunk of time re-collecting trash from the dumpster that had been distributed throughout the parking lot and the adjoining yard. He said it took him about 40 minutes.  He did the same thing this morning, too.  There was also additional trash added to the parking lot near the dumpster.  Thankfully, the dumpster should be picked up today.

Brad was really encouraged by the amount of work that was accomplished (even with the additional trash collections).  It was encouraging to me to see him so encouraged.  There is still so much work to be done, but it is obvious that God will send the right workers at the right time. 

I'm not yet able to put words around how proud I am of Brad, or how grateful I am that God chose Brad for this job.  Exciting seems like such a flimsy word to describe how we are feeling, but these are definitely exciting times.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a nice, productive day! I bet Brad feels a bit lighter with the work that was accomplished.