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This was the final week of MDS Leadership for Verne Geissinger (Project Director,), Joyce Geissinger (Assistant Cook), Connie Goertzen (Head Cook), Janie Heatwole (Office Manager), and Conrad Heatwole (Crew Leader).  Hannah Steffen and Janis Ott (year-long volunteer from Germany) will continue into February serving as Crew Leaders.

Larry Miller organized the group that came to volunteer this week. There were 11 men and 2 women from the Lancaster area. Altogether, 20 persons served at Crisfield this week…7 long-term volunteers and 13 weekly volunteers.

Only a few hours of work were needed at the Shallcross house for a bit of touch-up spackling, painting, toe-kick stained and installed, and final cleaning.  This house is ready for final inspection and occupancy.  Close by, at the second house elevation project (Hernandez), with the aid of a rented mini track hoe, several volunteers worked on digging out/removing the existing block footer.  Water had accumulated in the crawlspace so a sump pump was employed to get rid of the water and a big delivery of sand and digging two sump pits helped mitigate the abundant mud! Two Amish men from Dover, DE, joined us on Thursday to build forms for concrete footers.  Rebar was tied for footers, a broken water line repaired, and broken blocks/dirt were removed from the site.

At the Bradley House, cabinets, counter-top and kitchen sink were installed, doorways were framed, doors painted and hung, and doorknobs installed.  Flooring was laid throughout the entire house, base trim installed, and toe-kick boards stained and installed.  Facing was put up underneath the deck.

The decking, steps and railing at the Morgan House were finished, and a concrete pad poured at the base of the front and back steps.  Flashing was trimmed around the bottom of the siding, a crawlspace door built, plumbing shutoff valves were installed. Inside the crew did electrical work, window trim, painting, door repair, adding baseboard, installing a storm door, adding shelving, and cleaning.   On the last day of the week electrical work was completed and the washer and dryer set.

A new repair project for the Marshall House began this week – replacing a leaking porch roof that was allowing water to go into the kitchen ceiling.  The roof was dismantled down to the bare structure, then new plywood put down, drip edge installed, tar paper laid, and shingles put on — a job started and finished in one week!  Ms. Marshall treated the crew to hot chocolate as they worked, and to show her deep gratitude to MDS she gifted us with two of the area’s renowned Smith Island 8-layer cakes!!  A treat for the volunteers!

It was a month of gratifying work, meaningful interactions and relationships with both homeowners and volunteers, and lots of great meals, games, and conversations shared together.  It is a blessing to be part of the MDS Team and mission.

Janie Heatwole for the MDS Crisfield team

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