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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Volunteers do repairs at Asbury Park

  • A traveling volunteer organization sponsored by the Methodist Church has been putting in some elbow grease at Asbury Park doing repairs during the last three weeks.


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  • A traveling volunteer organization sponsored by the Methodist Church has been putting in some elbow grease at Asbury Park doing repairs during the last three weeks.

    The NOMADS, or Nomads on a Mission Active in Divine Service, is a voluntary program of the United Methodist Church.

    This program offers people with RVs a chance to travel throughout the country and help out with organized volunteer projects.

    The volunteers come to a particular venue for a period of three weeks, and work there four days a week. This work usually consists of repairing churches, homes and camps that are associated with the Methodist Church. During the remaining three days, they travel the surrounding area.

    “Our RV-ers are people who like to travel and see different areas. We go out to eat a lot, we get together to play games, we had a picnic the other day,” said Terry Lair, 66, one of the organizers of the project.

    Lair and her husband, George, have been part of the NOMADS for five years.

    “I don’t want to sit around and play bingo or watch soaps. I couldn’t retire until I had something to do. There is too much energy left in these bones,” she said.

    Their current project is at Asbury Park in Newton, a continuing-care retirement community for older adults. Eleven of the NOMADs arrived there on May 12 in order to do some work on 67 houses at Asbury Park.

    “We’re here to do maintenance, repair and help with the upkeep of this huge place. The women do scraping, priming and painting, and men do the fixing,” Lair said.

    In addition, they repaired six car ports and some handrails, and planted some plants.

    One of the couples worked on repairing the roofs.

    “Shingles had been blown off. It tends to happen here in Kansas. My husband took the couple up on the first day they came here. They have never done it before, but they have been doing it for two and a half weeks now,” Lair said.

    Nedra Starkey, 81, a resident of Newton and a member of the NOMADs since 1996, also joined the crew that worked at Asbury Park.

    “I don’t own an RV anymore, but I live here across the street, so I decided to come and help,” she said.

    Today is the last day of the NOMADS in Newton. The rain prevented them from accomplishing their work here.

    “Because of the rain, we aren’t going to get all the residents scraped, primed and painted, but we will let the administration here know what else has to be done,” Lair said.

    Nevertheless, they are satisfied with what they have done here in Newton, and they feel lucky they could offer their help to the residents of Asbury.

    “The NOMADS are doing something for others and for God. After all God has given us, we have a chance to give to people who need our assistance,” she said.

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