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An amazing group of 13 eleventh and twelfth graders from Ephrata Mennonite School in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, along with three chaperones, arrived Sunday afternoon. These young people exemplified the spirit of Christ while here in Crisfield. Their spontaneous singing and positive attitude, in spite of having to work in cold, windy weather, was encouraging.

Some of this group hung doors, trimmed doors, installed baseboard and painted at new build #8. They built a stand for the air conditioner, put down plastic under the house to comply with the building code and even dug ditches, one for the air conditioner stand and one to locate the water pipe. They enjoyed meeting and interacting with the homeowner.

At new build # 9, others put up sheathing, braced trusses and installed pads for the porch. They framed interior walls, placed blocking at eaves and installed hurricane strapping from the trusses to the top plate. They created cement posts and pillars for the porch. One volunteer commented, β€œIt was satisfying to see tangible progress at this house.”

Though windy, the sun was shining the day the young people worked at landscaping. One group leveled and smoothed dirt in the yard at house #4. They also caulked around sprinkler heads and pipes, hung the medicine cabinet and cleaned the house. At house # 6, another group disposed of the excess concrete, using sledge hammers to break up the cement. When they hauled all the cement to the landfill, the load weighed four tons! They landscaped the yard, created a sidewalk and cleaned the house in preparation for the homeowners to move in this weekend! The homeowners are very pleased to finally be able to settle into their new home. A house dedication is planned for April.

Highlights of the week according to the students: gorgeous sunsets, amazing food, drawing in the sand, using sledge hammers to break up cement, making cement pillars and posts. One volunteer mentioned they were glad to have sore muscles, knowing this meant they had worked!

Kim Hopkins, caseworker for the Eastern Shore long-term recovery group, joined us for supper Thursday evening. She shared stories of some of the homeowners and discussed the Crisfield weather phenomenona that cause excessive flooding in this area.

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