Giving back in the spirit of a barn raising

A volunteer crew of more than 25 individuals came together to help Green Bank couple Sam and Kim Clark winterize their home before snow began to fall. Sam’s work on the house was halted in September when he fell from the second story and broke his ankle. Photo courtesy of Kim Clark

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

Back in May, Green Bank couple Sam and Kim Clark embarked on a new journey – building their own home. The vision was a lovely two-story home that Sam would build on their land behind their current home.

The house was slowly taking shape as Sam worked on the walls and rafters. That is until September 25 when construction came to a crashing halt. Sam was on the second story of the house when he fell and broke his ankle.

It was a huge setback for the couple, who hoped to have the structure under roof and winterized before snow began to fall.

Kim, who is a nurse at Community Care of West Virginia in Green Bank, shared the story with her coworkers, Rachel Taylor and Anita Taylor, and both leapt at the chance to help the couple gather volunteers to get the house ready for winter.

“They said, ‘can we do this?’ and I said, ‘Oh, yeah, I sure would appreciate it, just to get it in the dry,’” Kim recalled. “Rachel was instrumental in getting volunteers and calling.”

Rachel and her husband, Adam, rounded up volunteers, and Kim contacted contractor Clement Lehman, who she initially planned to hire.

“We were going to hire him, and then he volunteered,” she said.

Overall, more than 25 individuals with varying construction skills lent a hand, and hammer, to put on a temporary roof and wrap the house in plastic.

Jacob Meck Construction loaned two contractors for one day of work to help with wrapping the house and New Hope Church of the Brethren helped by providing food.

A local business, which wishes to remain anonymous, also provided food.

Along with community members, the volunteer crew included two of Adam’s friends – one from Maryland, the other from South Carolina.

The volunteers worked six days to prepare the house for winter, coming together as a community for two of their neighbors.
“They did a really good job, and it was fast,” Kim said. “They worked together so well; it was like a barn raising. In the spirit of a barn raising. It’s like old times.”

Kim said Sam was surprised by the overwhelming outpouring of help from the community – a gift he has never really experienced.
“The first day they all showed up, Sam just cried and cried, because he’s never seen kindness like that,” Kim said.

Kim experienced the warmth of the community in 2017 when her son, Joshua, passed away at age 20.

“I’ve seen the kindness because when Josh died, so many people brought food and stuff to the dinner; I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “Five hundred people showed up to his viewing.

“It’s a good place to live,” she added. “There are some really great people here. I’ve got good friends.”

The volunteer crew included, Adam Taylor, Rachel Taylor, Amos Meck, Kelly Andrews, David Buck, Mark Beverage, Clement Lehman, Vera Martin, David Martin, Justin Quick, Mason Quick, Justin Kerr, Richard Helmuth, Cameron Barkley, Jacob Barkley, Bradley Nelson, Jeff Wayne, John Wayne, Keith Moyers, Shirley Doolittle, Anita Taylor, Lynette Doolittle, Lori Warner, Sam Petersheim, Jason High, Michael Petersheim, Jeremy Edward, members from New Hope Church of the Brethren and Jacob Meck Construction.

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