Monday, September 15, 2014

The Starfish Project

I let WPDE channel 15 know about the Starfish Project. They came out and did a story and we were the lead story on the news. To me, it is every bit as important to model this kind of behavior as it is to do the actual work. Think about the way the world would be if more people did what we did yesterday. I'd like to send a HUGE thank you to all the volunteers and contributors - you rock! We'll be over there Thursday at 10 am to finish up the landscaping and painting - join us if you can.

WPDE story on The Starfish Project

Current Amount Raised 
Lets keep the momentum going!  We are only a few hundred dollars away from of our goal of $2,500 and we are going to need $2,700 to do everything we want to do.  We had to replace all the fascia boards on the house.

On Saturday, October 25, 2014 we are going to fix up a stroke survivor’s house in Murrells Inlet, SC.  I hope you can join us.  Please Like The Starfish Project Facebook page, so that your FaceBook friends become aware of it.  Also, we’d appreciate it if you’d spread the word to your co-workers and friends.  You can email them the link to this page. 

The stroke survivor “lives small” on a disability income, so anything we raise is money she doesn’t have to spend. 

We’ve set a goal of $2,500.  Materials for the roof alone will be almost half of that.  All it takes is 125 people giving $20 or 25 people giving $100.  This is a great way to help if you can’t make it on October 25th.  If you have $20 you can contribute, that would be great.  All donations large and small are welcome.  We don't have 501(c)3, or official nonprofit status, so you won’t get a tax deduction – just the satisfaction of knowing you helped someone.  She currently has a small window air conditioner and an electric space heater.  When we exceed our goal, we’d love to install a mini split heat / air conditioner.  

There are 3 ways you can donate.  You can use the PayPal link above to donate using your credit card.  Checks can be made out to The Starfish Project and mailed to 1758 Wachesaw Road, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576. Or, you can go to any BB&T and ask to make a deposit to The Starfish Project's account.

If you would like to participate, contact Ralph Preston at 843.947.0010 or email

Myrtle Beach Building Supply is helping us out with materials by offering us a 10% discount.  Please support them and buy local!  

It is serendipitous that her house is named The Starfish.
I end all of my speeches to stroke professional and stroke survivors with The Starfish Story.

the starfish story

There was once a wise old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. One day as he walked along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man, and the young man wasn’t dancing, but instead was reaching down to the shore, picking up starfish, and very gently throwing them into the ocean.

“Good morning! What are you doing?” asked the wise man.  The young man paused, looked up, and replied, “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The sun is rising, and the tide is out. And if I don’t throw them in, they’ll die.”

“But, young man, don’t you realize that there are miles of beach and thousands of starfish all along it? You can’t possibly make a difference!”

The young man, listening politely, bent down and picked up another starfish, throwing it into the sea past the breaking waves. Turning to the old man, he modestly replied, It made a difference for that one.”

Project Tasks 

Roof – John Thomas, lead.  We need several people to help him, roofing experience is a plus.  We probably will strip the roof on Friday, so we can get the roof done on Saturday and so we can get all the old roofing off and down without dropping it on everyone on Saturday.  We’ll also need a whole house tarp.

Painting – Helen Thomas Romano, lead. We need several people to help her, painting experience is a plus.  We probably will caulk and prep on Friday, so we can get all the painting done on Saturday.

Yard – Deborah Thomas, lead. We need several people to help her, knowledge of plants is a plus.  Restore the planting off the deck; restore the front fence line – lantana, rose of Sharon; all sticks and branches to be removed; weeds removed; bushes properly trimmed under the homeowner’s direction; what to do about the treehouse?

Deck – We currently don't have a lead.  We need someone familiar with pressure washing and deck sealing.  There is one deck board that was never installed that I will get the carpenter to install.  The paint crew can help with the sealing, if they are done.

Ramp / Pavers / Gate – We currently don't have a lead.  We want to paint the handicap ramp to preserve it and we want to add sand to the paint so it is less slippery.  The paint crew and deck supervisor can help with this after the painting is done and the deck sealed.  The survivor will need access throughout unless she stays inside.  The gate needs fixing so it will close.  We'd also like to put pavers from the end of the ramp out to a small pad for wheelchair access to cars.  Currently, there are roots that make rolling a wheelchair very difficult.

Bathroom / Exterior door / carpenter – We currently don't have a lead.  We need someone who is knowledgeable in general carpentry to do several simple projects and probably some that will come up.  One is to install a couple of grab bars, probably right through the bathroom tile.  Some trim around the newly-widened bathroom door would also be nice.  The main entry door also needs attention – maybe we can get a used door that fits as a replacement.  Otherwise, it needs to be cut down and shored up.  There is one board on the deck that needs to be cut and added.

Sheetrock ceiling – We currently don’t have a lead.   We need someone knowledgeable in sheetrock repair to take this on.  There is a small soft spot that could be patched.  We don’t think the entire ceiling needs to be done.  We’d do a walkthrough prior to the 25th, so we can have the proper materials on hand.  The carpenter could possibly do this if he has the knowledge and time.

Security System – We currently don’t have a lead.  She gets people knocking on her door unannounced.  We would like to put a simple camera aimed at the door and displayed inside.  Nothing fancy.  If someone with CCTV and security experience wants to do more, that would be great.

Logistics, Lunch, Drinks, Fill in – Can’t hammer a nail to save your life and don’t know flowers from weeds?  No problem.  We’ll need people to run to Home Depot for unexpected supplies, get or prepare lunch, and handle drinks to name just a few things. 

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