John Muir Middle School aims for the stars!


John Muir Middle School students (Wausau) started a global community service effort in February to raise $4,500 for a home to be built for a poor family in the country of Dominica.  With less than three weeks to go before the end of the school year, they just tipped over $2,000. 

However, recently, a parent has made an offer that has re-ignited the effort. 

The parent, who wants to remain anonymous, is willing to match every dollar the students bring in during the month of May. Knowing their efforts will be doubled, the students are working harder on events like “Put Your Teacher in Detention.” 

Last year, John Muir students raised nearly $5,000 for a lightweight racing wheelchair for the myTEAM TRIUMPH organization. This year’s challenge is to provide a simple home for a family on the economically disadvantaged country of Dominica in the West Indies. Construction of the home will be handled by volunteers associated with the Wausau-based non-profit organization, Good News Project. The per-capita gross domestic product in Dominica is $11,400 compared to $57,300 in the United States.


Good News Project will accept tax deductible donations from the public on behalf of this fundraising effort.  Please memo: John Muir home on any donations.

The Fayettville Chronicles -GNP DAYS 1 & 2

Our team this week is just as awesome and hard working as last week’s group! Those who were able to work Monday removed all the shingles and tar paper off the roof of a house out in the country. On Tuesday, we all pitched in and continued the work on the house. A dumpster, shingles, boards, and other supplies were brought in. The two local leaders working with the house were surprised at how much work was accomplished. They are not used to seeing a bunch on women up on the roof pulling nails, prying boards, nailing new boards, on the ground hauling plywood, throwing trash in the dumpster, etc.

By the end of the day, all the underlayment had been removed and new plywood was nailed on most of the roof.  We discarded all the junk that was taken off the roof into the dumpster.  We also painted all boards that will be needed to finish the roof.  

The surprise birthday cake and card for Dave Jordan were a hit! After dinner we had our meeting, made lunches for Wednesday  and then went to our rooms to relax for the rest of the evening.

The Lumberton Chronicles -GNP DAY 4

House #4! WooHoo!!! When we arrived the lower parts of the walls had already been removed. The water level at this house was lower than the others we have worked on so no requirement to remove the entire wall.

We briskly got to work and removed all the door trim and jams. Then it was on to the floors. By the end of the day, all the floors had been removed. The crawl space was raked (if necessary), swept, and cleaned of any debris.  The guys even had time to spray the anti-mold compound on the entire interior of the house.

So house #4— DONE!!!

Rockin’ Good News Team!!!

The Lumberton Chronicles -GNP DAY 3

Last night for dinner we had the most delicious Boston Butt….and today we kicked butt by completing the removal of all the walls and the floor of house #3!!! Part of the house has also been sprayed with an anti-mold compound. Our team is incredible the way they pitch in and work and work and work to get the job done. Huge hearts and huge motivation!!!

We can’t wait to see what’s in store for us tomorrow!!! ?

The Lumberton Chronicles -GNP DAY 2

Wow! What a crew!!! They are awesome!!! We got sooooo much work done today! It was a beautiful, sunny 80 degree day, so we had the windows and doors of the house wide open. We started the day with an almost fully intact house and by the end of the day all the interior walls were gone….only the studs left! It was a lot of grunt work with many of the walls being lathe and plaster. Those that were dry wall were still wet and very moldy. We all wore masks and gloves!

Tomorrow we will remove the floors and if all goes well, by the end of the day only the joists will be showing.

The Lumberton Chronicles -GNP DAY 1


This morning we had a meeting with Ann and Jeff Wade. They are the full time volunteers that come into disaster areas for months at a time to coordinate groups of traveling volunteers in disaster relief efforts.  The meeting was very informative and the Wade’s are very well organized. We went to two houses that are right next to each other. Both were almost at the end of the mucking out process. We swept the studs and joists to get the last dirt off before they spray for mold. The last of whatever was in the crawl space was removed. The remainder of the sub floor was removed in one of the houses. We met both owners and some of us had very nice conversations with them!

We then moved to house #3. This house has not even been started so we could see what a house (home) looks like in that stage. It was a beautiful house with crown molding, some hardwood floors, and beautiful (different) wainscoting in the kitchen. The bathroom is a disaster!! Lots of mold.  Yes, we’re wearing our masks! And there is evidence of homeless people living in there. We will take that house down to the studs and joists a well.

In our morning meeting Ann said that we would likely be asked by some people (some homeless) if we could help them. She said that we should give those people her two cell phone numbers and she would make sure that they get the help that they need. Ann and Jeff are quite extraordinary people! During our day, two of us were approached by people in need and were so grateful to have the information to share with them!

EVERYONE in our group is awesome….helpful, sharing, pitches in wherever, kind, did I say helpful?!!!!


Submitted by co-trip leader Judy Thorpe

Help GNP rebuild lives and homes in Lumberton, NC!

In Robeson County North Carolina 29,000 families have been displaced.  Outside their homes, contents are stacked along the curbing as the “mucking out” stage is accomplished by teams of volunteers. Clothing, furniture, appliances, carpeting, flooring, damaged drywall and cabinetry are all piled in a moldy mess.  The houses must dry for 3-4 weeks before being treated for mold and dried again. Only then can re-building efforts begin. This is going to be a process that lasts for years.

When Charles MacCarthy presented our organization’s capabilities of mobilizing volunteers to the Rotary members in the small city of Lumberton, one of the first comments made was “This is grace in our midst.”

In response to the enormous need for help, Good News Project has organized two weeks worth of service trips to repair homes March 2017. Applications are now being accepted for either one or two week service trips (dates run March 19-April 1). More information and trip applications can be found under the “National” tab on our website.  Financial scholarships may be available. Please inquire at the GNP office.

Good News Project was founded in 1983. Our mission is to fulfill needs at home and abroad through meaningful service opportunities. We are home to the E-cycling program and the HELP Closet which supplies durable medical equipment to those in need. We travel annually to the countries of St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Dominica where we build homes and work in various capacities to help those in need. For more information, visit our website

Can’t volunteer? Consider a tax deductible donation toward our “tool fund” for North Carolina.

Lumberton, North Carolina Service Trips 2017


You’ve probably received a lot of requests for donations this time of year from many different sources, as the push for year-end giving is a valuable source of funding for many organizations. You’ve also probably started to dig out those 2017 calendars to divvy up which projects you’d like to dedicate your valuable vacation or free time to.

By now, if you follow Good News Project at all, you’ve probably also heard about our upcoming North Carolina service trips. That is why I want to take this opportunity to let you know why deciding to dedicate your time or money to these hurricane recovery trips matters so much.

In October, Hurricane Matthew slammed into the east coast with a vengeance, leaving many people with damaged or uninhabitable homes. Many people are still displaced. The founders of Good News Project, Dr. Charles and Peggy MacCarthy, saw this need and wanted to help. They made an exploratory trip to North Carolina in November and found people who are desperately seeking help to repair the homes of those suffering the after effects of Hurricane Matthew. They received a warm welcome from groups already working in hurricane relief, and after Rotary members in Lumberton heard our description of the work of GNP in the Caribbean and our desire to help in NC, one of the first comments was, “This is grace in our midst.” Here at Good News Project, we decided that this is a need that we cannot ignore. However, without volunteers, we cannot complete the home cleaning and repairs that are so desperately needed in Lumberton, North Carolina.


Maybe you are asking yourself, “How do I fit into this?” It is my hope that you will give us the opportunity to answer that and any other questions that you may have. I want to personally invite you to visit Good News Project to learn more about our exciting service trip opportunities. I know that your schedule is packed full as you celebrate the joy of the Christmas season. I also know that time is short for recruiting volunteers for these trips as they are taking place in January and March of 2017. Because of that, I would like to offer you the opportunity to attend one of our information sessions on Tuesday, December 27, at noon or 6:00 pm. These sessions last approximately 30 – 45 minutes. If you are unable to attend, we would love to share the information at your convenience. You can stop in anytime during our regular business hours or we can share information over the phone. Please feel free to contact our office and Toni, Christine, or I would be happy to talk about this exciting opportunity to show God’s love in North Carolina.

God bless and have a wonderful Christmas season!

Bettina Peters

Local Project Manager


Event RSVP:

For more information:

To apply as a service trip volunteer:


New details for relief trip in Lumberton, NC

Good News Project will be facilitating two 2-week trips to Lumberton, North Carolina.

Trip I:

  • Team leader: Toni Schmitt
  • Arrival in Lumberton by Sunday evening, January 23. Departure from Lumberton Saturday morning Feb. 4 (yes, you should be home in time for the Super Bowl on Feb 5!)
  • Openings for 9 general laborers and 5 skilled carpenters
  • We will be working with and taking direction from the United Methodist Church Disaster Recovery Team
  • Approximate participation fee for two weeks $850. (Don’t quote me on this yet!)
  • Includes room at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott (double occupancy), hot breakfasts, packed lunches and suppers provided. Transportation between work sites.
  • Price will not include your travel arrangements to and from Lumberton.
  • Depending on experience of volunteer, projects will range from mucking out homes to reconstruction…this will be two weeks of physical labor.

Trip II

  • Team leader: TBA
  • Late March 2017 (not yet confirmed)
  • Openings for 15-18 general laborers and 5-10 skilled carpenters
  • We will be working with and taking direction from the United Methodist Church Disaster Recovery Team
  • Approximate participation fee for two weeks $850. (Don’t quote me on this yet!)
  • Includes room at the Fairfield Inn by Marriott (double occupancy), hot breakfasts, packed lunches and suppers provided. Transportation between work sites.
  • Price will not include your travel arrangements to and from Lumberton.
  • Depending on experience of volunteer, projects will range from mucking out homes to reconstruction…this will be two weeks of physical labor.


If any volunteers are willing to drive their own vehicles (or the GNP Suburban), we can send large tools.  Otherwise, we will plan to buy large tools in Lumberton and leave them with the UMC Disaster Recovery Team.  You are encouraged to pack hand tools, along with work shoes, gloves, etc.

Humanitarian Shipments Abroad 101


Shipments of humanitarian goods are planned sometimes a whole year in advance.  Depending on the needs of the asking institutions, Good News Project may either have the goods in storage or need to make specific requests for donations from area hospitals or nursing facilities.

The 2016 shipment to St. Lucia has been no different.  It all began in January when we received a letter from the administrator of Victoria Hospital.  

e1-victoria-hospital-letterWhen we read about their need for hospital beds, we knew we had to do something. 

Manual hospital beds are, for the most part, a thing of the past in the U.S.  Finding the beds was our first challenge.  We mentioned it to folks in passing for a couple of months and then in the Spring we hit pay dirt!  A woman in Siren, Wisconsin recently purchased a nursing home and was flipping it into an assisted living facility.  She had 25+ manual hospital beds to get rid of! Clearly this was serendipity!

 It took a good couple of months to figure out the logistics of actually transporting this quantity of beds from Siren, a small town 3 hours Northwest of Wausau.  Now our serendipity is clearly the orchestration of our Higher Power because our staff then became connected with an official mover of hospital beds.   Tom and Linda from Wittenberg generously donated their time and fuel to pick up the beds for us in July.c130-st-vincent

When the beds arrived at our loading dock, we realized they really needed some attention.  Two Wausau East high school students washed each bed over a period of 2 afternoons.  Then came the members of our Wausau Golden Kiwanis.  Hours of wire brushing, grinding tools and metal primer and the beds not only looked like new, but were almost ready for shipment!

You may think the bed searching and fixing was all that was happening in the first half of the year with this shipment, but behind the scenes, so much more was happening.  We had to predict all the other items that would eventually be sent on the shipment (like wheelchairs, bed rails, construction tile and hardware and adult diapers).  A list was then pre-submitted to USAID via the Denton Amendment program (a free program to nonprofits which was established by Senator Jeremiah Denton in the 80’s.)

In mid-October we received the notification that our application had been accepted by USAID and an independent inspection agency would be contacted.  Based on past shipments we knew that an inspector could show up at our door anywhere from 1 week to 4 weeks from that notification.  It was time to spring into action and be sure all the remaining items were acquired (either collected by donation or purchased), labeled and palletized so that the inspector could evaluate the entire shipment.  This step took a large amount of time for staff members; to be sure all the details were attended to.  Volunteer Bob Brown negotiated prices and arranged delivery for windows and tile (enough for 18 houses!!). Toni spent hours researching, negotiating prices and acquiring latex exterior paint and buying hardware for our houses.  Bettina and Christine put in hours of time assembling, testing, disassembling and labeling the hospital beds.

Meanwhile, in a country far far away (St. Lucia), our representative was hard at work distributing our packing list to various St. Lucian government ministries for various approvals and waivers of duty and VAT tax.  Being able to say that in one sentence truly does not represent what Noella Sankar does to accomplish this.  Hours of time sitting in Ministry offices, transporting documents to Customs and making sure the paperwork is lined up properly for entry into the country is a huge task.  We could not send a humanitarian shipment without her diligence and attention to detail.

Stay tuned for PART 2 ….A PEAK DURING INSPECTION (Nov. 2)

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