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 Our long-term team this week included Rollie Ulrich, Project Director from Indiana, Ryan Sprunger, Construction Supervisor from Indiana, Tina Miller, Cook from Indiana, Ina Heinrich, Cook from California, Leo & Mim Martin, Crew Leader and Assistant Cook from Pennsylvania, Lester Fisher, Crew Leader, from Pennsylvania and Josie Swartzentruber, Office Manager from Ohio. We were joined by volunteers Jim & Carol Herr from Pennsylvania, Tom & Linda Collins from California and Lee Shaffer, Mike Graybill and Marlin Burkholder, all from Pennsylvania. Dick Stone from Washington, joined us as well. 

This excellent work team worked hard and accomplished much, in spite of cold temperatures. The volunteer skills of this group fit the work needs for the week. All houses are now closed in. Most of the wiring and plumbing was completed at house #1 and house #2. Dick Stone took care of the plumbing with an occasional assistant working alongside him. Other volunteers set the interior walls on house #3, installed doors and windows and assisted with electrical needs. One day, we had volunteers working at all four houses in one day! Driving to house # 3 is quite an ordeal, but with skilled driver, Les, they made it up the snowy roads to the house! Next week, we hope to work on siding and continue with electrical work. 

We enjoy our close relationship with the Long Term Recovery Group in Okanogan. They find the people who need houses, obtain the permits and provide oversight to the building process. 

The highlight of the week was Wednesday evening when one of the homeowners joined us for supper and shared her experiences of surviving the wildfire. She expressed her deep and heartfelt gratitude to Mennonite Disaster Service and to the volunteers who worked on her house.

 

Submitted by Josie Swartzentruber

For the Okanogan Team