January 21, 2023
Paradise, CA – Jan. 15-21, 2023
The work of MDS in Paradise continued this week under the same leadership: Dave and Patti Hughes as Project Director and Office Manager, Leon Martin as construction Supervisor, and his wife, Marlene as cook. Paul Jutzi, from Pennsylvania was crew leader, and Dorothy Miller, who lives in Illinois, was our other cook. Our weekly volunteers for this week were seven men from Pennsylvania and one gentleman from New York.
We had volunteers doing some odds and ends in the houses of Lorraine Dechter, Lori Moreno, Robert Ream, and Randy Loomis, clocking only a few hours in each of those. The weather in Paradise improved considerably this week, enabling us to accomplish more outside work. Most of our work focused on two houses: At Gloria Reyes’ house, the base plate, beam, and joists were put in place. Following plumbing inspection, we proceeded to lay the decking and frame up one wall. There were also several tons of gravel to shovel into the porch foundations so those can be poured with concrete. The remaining volunteer labor went toward a newly signed on job where we helped another organization working in Paradise. Our workers learned to install cement board siding at a home on Jewell Street that is being built by Hope Crisis Response Network.
We had a guest on Thursday evening. Mr. Kellogg came for supper and to talk with us about his experience during the fire and since. He operates a seed supply business and is currently working from temporary quarters where we will soon be constructing his house. He stays in a small camping trailer there with his two dogs. While we wait for the site preparation and foundation work we will be pre-fabricating the walls for his house at a warehouse to which we have been granted access.
Mennonite Disaster Service has a wonderful reputation here on Paradise Ridge. Wherever we go, community members thank us for what we are doing. The group of volunteers who arrived on Sunday spoke to some people at the restaurant where they had supper, and when they went to pay, someone had paid for their meals. We do our best to purchase our supplies locally. The company where we bought gravel did not charge us for materials or delivery when we ran out and needed a second load. It seems that our generosity inspires others to do likewise.