Friday, June 15, 2012
LCM team of volunteer builders nails it
LAURIE EDWARDS | Laker Weekly
Thanks to a group of volunteers, Lake Christian Ministries was able to continue serving the public while its facilities were under renovation.
LAURIE EDWARDS | Laker Weekly
The addition of an office area is part of the recent renovation and expansion at Lake Christian Ministries, which provides assistance to low-income families in the lake area. The project, which began in early December, stayed within the $150,00 budget, according to Jim Byrnes, one of the project managers.
The sound of power saws and hammers was replaced by jubilant laughter and gaiety last week as a milestone was celebrated at Lake Christian Ministries - the end of the non-profit's extensive renovation project.
Members of the Bent Nail Company, the cadre of nearly 60 volunteers recruited to work on the project, mixed and mingled with invited guests and showed off their handiwork at a recent open house event.
The driving force behind the collaborative effort, Jim Byrnes, chairman of the Bent Nail Company, who's also known as "The One to Blame," was presented with a gold bent nail mounted onto a handmade wooden picture frame. It was a gift from the team he helped manage.
"We delivered on time and under budget," said Byrnes of the $150,000 renovation project. "Were it not for the Bent Nail Company, it could've cost two to three times as much."
Before the renovations began last December, Byrnes crafted an organization chart complete with a board of directors and subdivided the work into categories. Volunteers were recruited and placed in a work group according to their interests and skills, and many of the volunteers worked on multiple crews.
"A lot of these guys have tremendous skill and talent," said Lake Frazier, a Bent Nail Company member.
Each facet of the renovation was planned carefully to keep LCM open to continue serving its clients. In all, there were more than a dozen phases that took place over seven months.
Renovations included expanding LCM's warehouse, renovating existing service areas and adding the waiting room area near the main entrance of the building, which was dedicated and named in honor of Byrnes and his wife, Margie, also an LCM volunteer.
"We never missed one minute of business," said Byrnes.
Steve Dorr, who was dubbed the Bent Nail Company's "Git R Dun guy," estimated he put in about 800 hours of time working on the project. The group's biggest challenge, he said, was keeping LCM open while renovations were underway.
"We'd come through the work areas, bringing two-by-fours and construction equipment and they (LCM volunteers and clients) just accommodated us," added Dorr.
And while the work may have been disruptive at times, there were no complaints.
"We never had cross words with each other; everybody was so flexible," said Dorr.
LCM Executive Director Mike Bond also expressed his gratitude to all those who were involved in the project, especially to Byrnes for his willingness to lead the group.
"Jim is one of the most caring, compassionate individuals I've ever had the pleasure to serve with," said Bond. "It's really been a nice experience for us. Our strength here is in our donors and in our volunteers."
As visitors toured the newly rehabbed space, Byrnes, Dorr and the other Bent Nail Company members took pride in showing off all that had been accomplished over the past seven months.
"The end product is absolutely phenomenal," said Dorr. "If you'd had a contractor do this it would've taken much longer and cost a lot more."
LCM's clientele and volunteers have taken notice, too.
"It's made a wonderful impression on our volunteers and our clients and it tells our clients 'you're valued,'" said Bond. "We all know that any of us could find ourselves in the same situation where we'd need help."
To learn more about the renovations and to donate to LCM, visit www.lcm-moneta.org.