Dennis Pentrack, Malcolm Snyder and Walter Freidhoff are jumping in with both feet to help Johnstown area homeowners in need.
The three, along with pastors from four Johnstown churches, resurrected a ministry four years ago that focuses on home repairs.
Called Johnstown United Methodist Parish Inc., JUMP, the ministry is comprised of four Johnstown churches – Franklin Street United Methodist, First United Methodist, Trinity Asbury United Methodist and Trinity United Methodist.
Pentrack, JUMP vice president, said ministry volunteers have built ramps, handrails, stairs and porches and have completed plumbing and electrical repairs.
“All projects are done with the emphasis on the safety of the homeowner, he said.
The program is based on the person’s ability to pay, said the member of First United Methodist.
The labor is always donated with JUMP paying for all materials if need be. In other cases, the homeowner must pay for all or some of the materials, he said.
JUMP now is able to expand the program thanks to recent donations and a grant, said the former Marine who has traveled to Mississippi to help Hurricane Katrina victims.
The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies provided a $5,000 grant with AmeriServ Financial donating $1,500 and AmeriServ employees another $324. First Summit Bank donated $200, the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church, $1,000, and United Methodist Foundation of Western Pennsylvania, $2,775.
Pentrack said they expect to double the number of projects this year due to the additional funds. Last year JUMP completed 16 jobs.
The Geistown resident said New Directions at Cove Forge in downtown Johnstown has been providing great volunteers for projects. Other fine helpers are Debbie Gilbert and Alex Goodman, both members of JUMP, he said.
Helping with the administrative work is Carol Burket, who works at Franklin Street United Methodist.
Susan Dabbs, a JUMP member, is an asset in raising funds, he said.
Moxham Lumber Co., Johnstown, and Bantly Hardware, located in Dale, both have been providing substantial discounts on materials, said the retired Prudential insurance agent.
“It’s to give back to the community which has been very giving to me personally over my lifetime,” Pentrack said about his involvement.
Snyder said he and Freidhoff had been involved with Habitat for Humanity for many years. When Habitat stopped making home repairs to concentrate on building homes, they decided to help Pentrack and the Methodist pastors resurrect JUMP to fill that void.
“I think Walt, Dennis and I all believe that life has been good to us and it’s time to share,” Snyder said about his involvement.
In addition to projects such as building ramps, they have made repairs to furnaces and have installed doors and locks on home for security’s sake, said the project director and Southmont resident.
Snyder, who retired from AmeriServ Financial as a manager in the operations department, said he enjoys going on trips to help others and has been to Joplin, Mo., to help tornado victims and to Mississippi five times with his wife, Doris, and others to aid Hurricane Katrina victims.
Freidhoff, president of JUMP, said many projects are at homes where a wife has lost a husband and thus the handyman.
“So we try to fill in with that need,” he said about why they tackle projects.
“It’s giving back to society for the blessings that my family and I have received,” he said about his involvement.
You don’t have to belong to any of the four churches in JUMP or be a Methodist or member of any church, said the Conemaugh Township, Cambria County, man.
“If we get the call, we respond,” said Freidhoff, who along with his wife, Pat, founded Hoff Enterprises in Conemaugh Township a number of years ago.
Pentrack said they receive referrals for their projects through social agencies, word of mouth, and from fellow parishioners. Referrals also can be made by calling Franklin Street United Methodist at 535-8288.
For their efforts, the three are the Persons of the Week.
Other United Methodist churches in the area also support the ministry.
Rev. Larry Rowe, pastor of First United Methodist, said the three men have the building skills to do anything.
“They do it because they love people and want to serve the community and Christ,” he said.
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