In the early days of Ricky Rigsby's adventure in starting "The Work in Gilmer," he was interviewed by a reporter from the Gilmer Mirror. The resulting article described several needs that Ricky related. Among those was the need for a fence that would provide privacy for the new hostel and a privacy boundary around three sides of the entire property.
The need for a fence took root in the heart of a local gentleman who gave it plenty of time to take root or take flight. When it was apparent that the need for a fence would not leave this man's thoughts, he approached Ricky. The local gentleman related that he wanted to raise the money for material and supplies and oversee the construction by volunteers that he would recruit for the task. Of course, Ricky went to the Board of Directors for permission to establish a dedicated account for the expected donations. Over the course of the winter of 2016-17, the entire amount ($5,500) was funded by multiple donors.
Although the process of beginning the build took longer than was anticipated, the construction project began with the layout and completion of the hostel fence. That 50 ft. length of fencing and its gate were soon finished, and the layout and planning for the property boundary fencing began.
That part of the project included installing 57 fence posts that would support the 450 ft. of perimeter fencing. In small increments, the project continued through the spring and summer of 2017. In mid-summer 2017, the entire project was completed with full funding by donations from local citizens and construction by local volunteers.
The folks who built the fence spoke about the love they have for people they probably will never know. Without doubt, lives will be saved by The Work sheltering abused women in the hostel, which is now enclosed by a new privacy fence.
May others find love in their hearts for unknown children of God and be impressed to give and work for benefit of those who need services provided by The Work.
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In July 2017,a young mother and her three children were traveling through Upshur County with relatives from their home in a distant community. A late evening argument among the travelers caused the driver to stop the car in Gilmer and insist that the mother and her three children get out of the car. With only the clothes they wore and an infant car seat, this family walked the streets of Gilmer for several hours until a Gilmer Policeman noticed them and took them to a local church which was just beginning the day's Vacation Bible School Activities. Church members fed the family right along with the VBS group, found each child and the mother some additional clothes, and called The Work in Gilmer. The mom's testimony about what has happened since that morning follows:
"When I first came in contact with The Work I was homeless with three children. Since The Work has come into my life, everything has changed for the better. My children and I are safe and have everything we need! I even found a new job! The staff at The Work are loving, kind, and God fearing people. They have the resources available to help in any way possible. I thank God for heaven sent staff at The Work!!"