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Volunteers! They came this week, from Indiana and Montana. Volunteers give a different life to this project than happens otherwise. The four men who came from the Goshen, Indiana, area are very skilled carpenters who knew how to get things done. And our cook, Clara Coblentz, from St Ignatius, Montana, brought a very welcome presence. We had hot breakfasts again!

The conditions this week were ideal for working. The weather was mostly sunny with moderate temperatures (mid-60’s), which provided a great contrast to the rain, snow, and mud of the previous weeks. Houses were aired out and we could clean up around them. It smells fresh, the birds are singing, and the flowers are blooming in profusion. The town is living up to its name!

This week went great and the work crews are in finish mode. They have a sense of satisfaction in seeing the houses being formed into homes. The details are as follows:

  • The Robert Ream house has passed the HERS (air flow, heating, & cooling) inspection. The final caulking and punch list items, such as drawer pulls, etc., are finished. The only thing remaining is outside grade work, which will happen this coming week, weather permitting. Hopefully the final inspection and occupancy permit will soon be received. The dedication for this house will happen on Saturday, April 15, 1:00pm. We look forward to having the friends and community of Robert Ream celebrate with us.
  • The Loomis House is down to a punch list of small items. The utilities are hooked up and all appliances are installed. Doors are all hung, shelving is completed, and trim work is finished. The contractor completed the HVAC. Randy is so proud of his house. He says that he never thought that this day would ever arrive, but here it is. He will also need grade work completed and the final inspections and permits issued.
  • The Reyes House is not far behind. Cabinets are installed, and the utilities connected. Countertops are measured and should be installed by the Reyes’ installer soon. Doors are hung, and trim work is completed. Again, there is a limited amount of work to be completed.
  • This week the Kellogg House was painted completely. The flooring is installed, and the doors hung. Trim was completed except for the cabinet area. The main holdup on this house will be the cabinets, which will not arrive until May. Otherwise it is looking great.

For many of us the highlight of this week was our visits with a volunteer from the community who cooked for us two nights, filling in until Clara arrived. She not only provided delicious food, but she also told us her and her family’s stories about escaping the fire. She provided us with the gift of experiencing with her this horrific event. We are grateful.

Submitted by Wayne Hochstetler on behalf of the team

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