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West Virginia Ministry of Advocacy and Work Camps in its 20th Year of helping Mountain State families be more safe and secure

West Virginia Press Association

SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va. – Thousands of unsung non-profit organizations fill the gaps for people that government and the private sector cannot meet. For the past 20 years, the West Virginia Ministry of Advocacy and Work Camps (WVMAW) has focused on leveraging community and volunteer resources to offer disaster relief and combat poverty through home repairs and other assistance.

WVMAW is a 501©3 organization that serves families across West Virginia who suffer from various kinds of disaster. The organization works with partners from in-state and out of state to make a difference in the lives of the families they support. Families are identified by the United Way of Central West Virginia, Nicholas County Community Action, churches, or by other entities. WVMAW Executive Director Peyton Ballard, a Nicholas County native, said the organization receives federal and state disaster support during floods or hurricanes but relies mostly on private donations.

Ballard said the annual operating budget is roughly $250,000 annually, with WVMAW carrying out 50 projects with 25 teams to support their completion. “Most of our funding goes toward supplies and equipment to carry out essential projects to serve WV families,” he said. “We have the potential to do much more, and we have some funding and partnership strategies that could double or triple our impact.”

Some of the recent initiatives conducted by WVMAW teams included:

  • Roof replacement project in Ansted, WV for a family experiencing flooding and leaks.
  • Mobile home donated by WVMAW donor to rehome local family in Summersville, WV area.
  • Wheelchair ramps for residences housing a family member with disabilities.

“Where there is a will, there is a way,” said Derek Hudson, Chairman of the board of directors of WVMAW. “When someone or a community is in need, we lean on our support from our site partners, communities, and dedicated staff to find resources and are able to assemble a skilled team to lend a helping hand.” He said a trained project manager is assigned to each project and stays with the job and team from start to finish.

Hudson, who resides in Charleston, praised the communities, universities, and church groups who mobilize to assist others. He said Boston College, Loyola School NYC, Wooster College, Holy Ghost Prep School, and a host of churches and partnerships from the East Coast arrive every spring through early fall to support families in need.

WVMAW has locations in Beckley, Charleston, Point Pleasant, St. Albans, and Summersville. 

To learn more about the West Virginia Ministry of Advocacy and Work Camps, Inc., visit https://wvministry.org/

Photo caption: West Virginia Ministry of Advocacy and Work Camps volunteers build an accessibility ramp. The Mountain State non-profit is marking 20 years of offering disaster relief and combating poverty through home repairs and other assistance for families in need.

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