Friday, March 22, 2019

Building Relationships in the Community through Building Trades

Recently I met Mrs. Barbara Wiggins, a county resident who is an advocate for those with housing needs.  She works with the homeless to find them a place to live.  She also helps many Isle of Wight seniors who are facing overwhelming home repair issues. She shared her story with me, including her passion for helping those in need and the obstacles she faces in assisting them.

I immediately knew what we had to do.

Our students in the Building Trades program are learning contracting skills and are looking for situations in the community where they can apply those skills.

Mrs. Wiggins, meet IWCS Building Trades.  Building Trades, meet Mrs. Wiggins.

What a perfect partnership!

With the help of Mrs. Wiggins, we identified a home in Zuni in serious need of attention.  Our students and their instructor, Mr. Rogers, visited the site and met with Ms. Hobbs, the homeowner.  They conducted a Needs Assessment and have generated a list of materials necessary to complete the repairs. Since their class is double blocked, they will be able to spend about 3 hours on site each day, but will need to schedule several full day "field experiences" to get the job done.

This is an incredible opportunity for everyone involved.  The students are using their skills in a real-world situation.  They are also learning the value of giving back to the community and helping those in need.  And this is just the beginning.  After Ms. Hobbs, the students will identify more people who have homes in need of repair and will begin helping another Isle of Wight County resident.  They are also putting the finishing touches on a "Tiny House" and are working with Mrs. Wiggins to donate it to someone in desperate need of housing.

We put together a short video  that explains the project and introduces you to the students and Ms. Hobbs   We realize there may be people who want to know how they can help support this project.  The materials the students need are listed below.  If you would like to donate any of the items, please contact us through the following link:   Contact Us  We are working on a documentary of the entire process and plan to recognize all of our donors in the video. 

I am extremely proud of the partnership we have developed between IWCS and the community with the help of Mrs. Barbara Wiggins.  This is the expectation we have for all of our students--making real world connections while they are making a difference in the community.  Our Building Trades students and Ms. Hobbs are equally excited for this opportunity.  I have a feeling the lessons learned will stay with the both for the rest of their lives.

Materials List:

Paint supplies                           Fasteners                                      Lumber
Rollers                                      10” Finishing Nails                       Brick Molding 12’ lengths or better
Brushes                                     3” deck screws                              2 x 8 x 12 Pressure treated lumber
Caulk/Silicone                          3” galvanized nails                       2 x 6 x 12 lumber
                                                  Roofing nails                                2 x 4 x 8 lumber
                                                                                                        5/4 Pressure treated Deck umber
                                                                                                        Windows (size 3x4) For back porch
                                                                                                         Shutters (6)
                                                                                                         Vinyl siding (2 square)
                                                                                                         Shingles (2 Square)
                                                                                                         2 x 6 x 12 Pressure Treated
                                                                                                         Back Door (36”)