Team – Golden Winged Warbler

Team – Golden Winged Warbler

David Sturdivant, Todd Henderson, Madolyn Price, Ryley Scales, Jeb Baird, Sarah Franklin, Payton Windsor

Written by: Madolyn Price


Day one for our group was a little slow. We are finishing siding installation on the home. While the job isn’t that challenging, it is very tedious and doesn’t allow for all of us to be hands-on all the time. We do get a lot of help from the homeowner whose name is Dave. However, he prefers that we call him “Fat Boy” and will only answer to “Fat Boy”. We are all not adjusted to calling him this yet and feel rude saying it! The tornado damage in the holler is so devastating and the beautiful trees on the mountainside have been so easily snapped in half. We’re thankful to be here working and we can’t wait for day two!


We finished an entire side of the house with siding! It is starting to looks so good from the outside. We also started siding the last side of the house around the window that Fat Boy put in for us before we got there this morning. He is such a great help! Pam, his fiancé, has three daughters and we got to meet one of them today, along with her husband and two children. Pam also works at a doughnut shop in town and we have frequented it twice already. We are so glad to have the help of the homeowners who are also so very appreciative. Now we’re ready for day three!


When we got to the worksite today, Fat Boy told us that a young boy from the holler had come by the night before trying to steal some of the building materials and tools but luckily he caught him. Later in the morning, the young boy rode by the house on his bicycle and Fat Boy stopped him and they exchanged a few choice words. Fat Boy was very apologetic and felt so terrible that he said such awful words in front of good Christian people. We tried to assure him that we all have our faults and transgressions, but he still felt terrible. It made me think of how powerful a label we have as Christians. I hated for him to think that we are perfect because we definitely are not, but I wanted to be sincere enough to show God’s love. It had me thinking all morning, but that’s what ASP does. We completed all siding on the house today and it looks wonderful! We will start underpinning tomorrow. We’re ready for Day 4!


With the siding complete, we began working on the underpinning and metal trim at the top. But our work was stopped short in the morning when the ASP headquarters film crew arrived. Many of us were filmed working and interviewed. We need to keep watch to see if we made it on ASP’s materials. Ms. Pam’s dad, Mr. Mason, helped today and he, like Mr. Fatboy, is a huge help. After the picnic tonight, we went to Wal-Mart to buy gifts for Mr. Fatboy and Ms. Pam and we bought them: coffeemaker, dishes, silverware, shower curtain, and towels. Can’t wait to give it to them tomorrow and enjoy our last day!


With all of the siding finished, part of our team started working on the underpinning this morning and the other half went to help the other group inside. We raced to finish the bathroom floor before lunch, and we did. When it was finished, we set up all of the bathroom gifts we bought and hung the shower curtain. We then placed all the other gifts in a display like Christmas morning. We brought Mr. Fat Boy and Miss Pam in and they were speechless. It really warmed our hearts. We stayed extra late today to finish the projects and talk before we headed back all hot and dirty. We couldn’t be more thankful for this past week.


Team – Gray Headed Fish Eagles

Team – Gray Headed Fish Eagles

Mickey Sewell, Bob Howard, Holly Weaver, Scott Sturdivant, Allyson Parmer, Hallie Bain, Hannah Henderson

Written by: Holly Weaver


This is my sixth year coming on ASP. I was especially looking forward to this year because I’ve been feeling distant from God, though I know he’s never been far. The reason for this is most likely because I haven’t found a church home in the city I go to college in. Why should I look for something I already have? ASP is the perfect opportunity for me to not only reconnect with God, but to come to terms with the things I’ve been struggling with. I am an adult team leader, though honestly I really don’t feel like an adult at nineteen, almost twenty. I was even less sure of myself when I was put on a team of seven, four of which are all first-timers on ASP. I’m not sure how this week will work out, but I know God has a plan.


Today was my first day at our worksite. My team was greeted by the smiling face of our homeowner. Not only had he waited until we arrived to leave, but he had also set up a tent with a number of folding chairs for us to rest, as well as two cases of water. Although putting up siding on a house may not be the most challenging work, it does not mean that it was any less rewarding 


Today we figured out how to cut siding in a much more efficient way – a chop saw. I think we put up at least twice as much siding as yesterday. We also got to know our homeowner’s three-year-old granddaughter, Lily, one-year-old grandson, Gus, and daughter-in-law, Lisa. At the end of the day, Lily was calling Scott, our lone male youth, her friend and talking with the other girls. Lisa and the three girls, Allyson, Hannah, and Hallie, formed a fast friendship. Lisa even brought us slushies, pickle slushies (yes made with actual pickles) to cool us down. Today was a great day.


Today marks the middle o the workday week – the halfway mark in ASP. People are starting to realize their abilities and limitations. They are getting and receiving warm fuzzies, figuring out who makes sandwiches for work, and working out the adult/youth shower times. At the worksite, some of the girls have realized they are more comfortable with some work, such as painting, than others, like operating a chop saw. Even though I feel like physical work could’ve been done, as I am reminded by Mr. Jimmy, the personal relationship with the family is just as important as the work on the house.


Today has been the hottest day at a sweltering 90 plus degrees. Staffers cautioned us to drink plenty of water and to leave earlier if the heat gets too bad. We finished majority of the siding on the back; we had a good pace going until we ran out. Today we also have the family picnic. Families are invited to join all the teams for burgers, hotdogs. And fellowship. I was excited to see the family we worked for there, as in six years, this is only the second family to come. Though I’m saddened to see the last day come; I can’t wait to see our (hopefully) completed project.


Team Firethroat – Sensory Overload on the Worksite!!!!!!!!!!

Team Firethroat has had the pleasure of working with a family that LOVES animals. We have 2 dogs, 4 puppies, a rooster, and a cat, several chickens (hens I don’t really know the difference), and about 10 baby chicks. We’ve really enjoyed having so many of God’s creatures around us. Our homeowner loves all creatures. She shared that she even loves the wasp, birds, and other creatures that find her home. 

On Tuesday, it was time to wash paintbrushes and so of course, we needed water. The water valve is located under the house. I’m not crazy about being under houses and so, Jim agreed to run down there for me. He turned the water on with no trouble….and then he summoned me down….to the basement….”to show you something”. Well…when the leader calls, you go. As I was walking though the door, he says, “only come in as far as you’re comfortable”. Uh oh….not a good sign. Walking through the outer door, Jim points up to a mud bird’s nest with little baby birds’ heads sticking out of the top. Well about the time my mind is processing that where there are baby birds, there should be a mama bird and….we’re inside (still making movements forward as my mind is putting everything in order). Already my better judgement is screaming to back out! So we move to just below the bird’s nest , in another doorway, and Jim points to the right corner under the house to show me  – oh wait! Mama Bird is now dive-bombing my head! Circling, circling – INSIDE. Swoop and circle, and glide and dive! What’s in the right corner? About 10 baby chicks and THEIR mama that are now all stirred up because we have blocked the doorway. Mama bird – circling, circling – INSIDE. Swoop and circle, and glide and dive! Chickens scattering…and then….and then….a growling just exactly at my ear height BEHIND ME! Jim and I both have our heads spinning like owls – round and round from the mama bird, the chicks, the hen and now behind us….THE DOG! The dog is sitting on a stairwell landing that just happens to put me eye-to-eye with a pooch that I didn’t know was there! I screamed, “I’m outta here!” and then attempted to make a diving dash out of the door certain that the mama bird was going to land on my head and peck my eyes out! Jim couldn’t run for cackling into absolute hysterics! Ugghh! I’m sure that I aged about ten years in those mere seconds under the house. Beware – anyone that wants “to show you something” but follows that with “enter only as far as you’re comfortable.”


Galapagos Penguins

Team – Galapagos Penguins

Greg Blackmon, Betsy Hodo, Maggie Fox, Tiffany East, Bennett Bice, Ben Whitley

Written by: Betsy Hodo


Day 1 was such a fund day! We have three “newbies” on the team. We got four holes dug for our new girder and build the new girder, assembled and temporarily braced under the house. I took all members of the team under the house to accomplish the task. Our family is so kind and helpful which makes work a joy. There are baby kittens and a new puppy to keep us entertained while we waited on supplies. Our fearless leader taught all the kids (and adults) how to use some new tools and kept us on the right path. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!


We got so much accomplished today. Leader Greg and the girls finished the girder under the house. We will miss the coolness of that as we move to the roof tomorrow. The boys with leader, Jimmy, started tying in the retaining wall the previous crew had built. They dug and dug and broke up rock for hours! They got four of the ten holes dug and boards connected and set with rebar. We got in two great hug breaks and the ASP crew brought us a special treat of much needed chocolate. I was amazed today at how much our homeowner and his grandson opened up. We have a truly amazing family.


Wow! Our boys worked HARD today. They got the retaining wall tied in today. They hammered rebar in to rock for hours. They then climbed the hill and shoveled dirt and rocks down the hill to back fill the wall. While the boys were busy with that, the girls and leader Greg got busy making trusses for the roof. This means a LOT of sawing. We were all covered from head to toe in sawdust. Tomorrow should be a HOT day of placing the trusses on the roof and building more. So proud of my team today. It was a long but rewarding day!


We had another crew today and man did we move! With the extra help, we were able to get so much accomplished. The boys, of course, started out on the hill back filling the retaining walls while the girls cut and assembled trusses. The it was time to get on the roof. We had three saws going, some people on assembling, and some on the roof installing. It was HOT! The theme for the day was “Throwdown Thursday”. The two teams created a step routine that was a huge hit! You can really see the progress everyone made today!


I can’t believe th work we accomplished this week. Not only that, but the friendships made with each other and our homeowner. Team Firethroat was with us again until lunch. We got the entire roof framed and ready for the next crew to put the tin on. But today, the work took a backseat. We worked hard, we got so much done, but, for me at least, it didn’t seem so important. Our homeowner, Michael, bought the entire two crews, lunch. I know it was a huge sacrifice for him. It was so delicious. We all gathered in his kitchen and ate like a big family. We closed our time with Michael in prayer. He told us he might never see us again here, but he’d see us in heaven. Such a fitting end to this week…

Shy Albatross in Magoffin County

Team – Shy Albatross

Wade Price, Brad East, Kim Baird, Bailey Sturdivant, Anne-Marie Wendling, Alexis Goldhagen, Logan Blake

Written by: Kim Baird

Day 1

Today we arrived at our site and was warmly greeted by our host-Fat Boy. We could tell right away that we were going to get along just fine – especially Brad! Fat Boy’s house was badly damaged by the tornado that hit in March.

Our day didn’t start out as smoothly as we had planned. It took longer than expected to get our game plan together and get all the materials we needed. But by lunchtime, we were rocking and rolling. We also met our other family member, Pam, and her mother. Pam works at a local donut shop in town-just down from the DQ. We can’t wait to stop by and pick up some fresh donuts.

This week we will be working on two rooms in Fat Boy’s house – his den and a bedroom for his uncle. In the bedroom, we will be putting up a ceiling and insulating the attic and then dry-walling both ceiling and walls. The rest of us will be laying laminate in the den.

By the end of the day, we had managed to use all our backer board and had a good portion of the ceiling done. Tomorrow we hope to finish both of these tasks and move on to the next ones.

Day 2

Today started out cool and crisp with a clear bluebird blue sky. We ran into Pam at the IGA when we stopped for ice and snacks. Once we got to the site, we immediately set to work. Anne-Marie, Bailey and I finished installing the backer board. All three of us got to use the skill saw for the first time. Alexis and Logan worked on the ceiling with Brad and Wade.

After lunch, we switched up a bit. Logan and I started laying the laminate flooring. Pam’s father, Mr. Mason, came over and helped us get started. The rest of the team and Fat Boy worked on the ceiling. It’s really hard to work overhead but they made great progress.

Pam’s son and family came by to see how the work was progressing. They have two adorable children.

Back at the center, we got to listen to local artist/musician, Tom Whitaker. Mr. Tom told us a little about his life growing up in Appalachia, showed us several pieces of his artwork and entertained us with a couple of songs. He was very interesting.

Then it was time for DQ and Donuts! Pam gave Brad a chocolate-covered cream-filled donut that was still so warm the chocolate melted and ran down his hand. It was messy but Brad certainly enjoyed it!

Day 3

Today was a good day. We finished the flooring in the den and started on the hallway. Logan has truly mastered the table saw. Bailey and I struggled with a few spots but Fat Boy helped us overcome them. Wade, Brad, Anne-Marie and Alexis finished the ceiling and started on the walls. Just after lunch, the spirit came on Brad and for the rest of the day (and night) he was shouting, “Hallelujer Jesus!” It was very entertaining.  J  Especially when you added in the pterodactyl cries that Alexis shared with us. Don’t worry; we’ll make sure she and her fellow pterodactyls share this talent with everyone at the Shareholder’s Dinner.

Fat Boy and Pam told us many times during the day that they were so thankful for our help. They shared a lot about their lives with us and we did the same. Wade, Brad, and I could not be prouder of our youth team members. They are working really hard and doing a terrific job.

Day 4

Lights, Camera, Action! The ASP video crew arrived on our site first thing today. They are making a new ASP video and Fat Boy had agreed to be interviewed. Guys with big video cameras followed us around too. A few of us were interviewed. So we’ll definitely be checking out the ASP YouTube videos when we get back home.

When the video crew left, it was back to work.  We made huge progress on the floor, because some of the girls from Golden Winged Warbler team had some free time and came to assist. We finished the sheetrock and started on the mudding. The heat was terrible in that room but our crew worked through it.

We hope to get all the flooring done tomorrow except for the two bedrooms. And hopefully we can get the first layer of mudding done. It’s gonna be another hot one.

Final Thoughts from Shy Albatross…

Our last day with Fat Boy an Pam was bittersweet. We were all very tired and looking forward to getting home but we have grown very attached to Mr. Fat Boy and Miss Pam. Thursday night, we drove 25 miles to the nearest Walmart to shop for some farewell gifts. By going in with David’s group, we were able to get them some nice gifts for their kitchen and bath. By now, we really considered ourselves one big team instead of two anyway.

When we got to the house, we hit the ground running – trying to get the flooring finished, the sheetrock done, and the under skirting finished. Pam had gone to take care of her bedridden uncle that morning and Fat Boy’s back was hurting so we made him take it easy (as best we could). By lunch, the bathroom floor was done, so we hung the new shower curtain, put out the bathmat, and arranged the other gifts on the floor. Then we waited for Pam to get home. When she got home, we took them both to the bathroom and showed them the gifts. It was a very touching moment. There were lots of hugs and even a few tears.

I am happy to say that we completed all our tasks. The young people on our team did an outstanding job! Even though it was extremely hot – they didn’t complain and worked really really hard. Wade, Brad, and I are so proud of them. And listening to them tell their God moments at Friday night’s evening gathering was truly a blessing.

Looking back at the week, I can honestly say that we’ve had fun, acted silly (especially Alexis and Brad), worked hard, sweater A LOT, learned new skills, made new friends, cleaned yucky bathrooms, ate lots of ice cream, laughed a lot, been blessed and received a blessing.

So, why bother? Because Jesus did!