What the paper said about the work project

Volunteers renovate Rock Hill shelter

By Matt Garfield – mgarfield@heraldonline.com

A day care for underprivileged children is getting much-needed renovations this week, thanks to a man called “Pastor Paul” and volunteers from his Rock Hill church.

Carrying handsaws, drills, screw guns and hammers, 15 volunteers arrived at Pilgrims’ Inn on Thursday to replace a leaky roof that had caused headaches for nearly a year.

Water dripped into a classroom for 4-year-olds after rain showers, forcing children to share crowded space in other rooms at the center on West Main Street, director Susan Dean said.

Peterson leads Church180, a contemporary church for about 80 people in a strip shopping center on Celanese Road, next to Omni Fitness.

The church adopted Pilgrims’ Inn last year, providing volunteer hours, meals, food supplies and even cards and baked treats for staff members on their birthdays.

“We talk a lot about world care – how can we care for our neighbors?” Peterson said. “I had a conversation with Susan and said, ‘What’s the one thing you really need done?’ Right away, she said the roof.”

A contractor told Dean the repairs could cost $10,000 to $15,000. Faced with tight budgets like most nonprofits these days, Dean wasn’t sure where to turn.

She mentioned the roof to Peterson, figuring Church180 might be able to help in some way. A few days later, hammers started swinging.

“I threw it out almost as a joke,” Dean said. “I was thinking they would paint a room or something.”

0716Pilgrimsroof027.jpg Church180 also adopted Rock Hill’s Ebinport Elementary School as a place to do volunteer work. There, volunteers are giving the cafeteria a facelift.

Peterson said his goal is to identify needs and act on them, rather than sit around talking about what to do. With this project, Peterson got some added manpower from a partner church in the Atlanta area called Mountain Lake Church.

On a break from roofing work Thursday, Josh Thomas said he didn’t hesitate when Pastor Paul told him about the need at Pilgrims’ Inn.

“I’ve lived in Rock Hill for almost eight years, and I didn’t know Pilgrims’ Inn existed until a few months ago,” the 34-year-old Thomas said. “It just made sense to come over and do what I could to help.”

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