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Fort Myers – Weekly Report – January 19, 2018

January 25, 2018

Our first week consisted of our leadership volunteers arriving Friday, January 5. The volunteers are Kathleen and Phil Maneikis, Elmer and Mary Friesen, Ann Pasnick, Delmar and Nancy Rutt, and Michael Tamm.

We set up camp in Riverside Camp and Retreat Center. They were generous enough to rent us three bunk houses for weekly volunteers, a 3-bedroom house for leadership, a small pavilion for a dining room, and space for a volunteer’s fifth wheel, MDS tool, kitchen and storage trailers, and five vehicles. Thank you, David and Jennifer Weber!! All trailers were leveled and set in place; ramps, walkways and a roof were built between the kitchen trailer and dining hall. Steps were also built up to the tool trailer.  We put up a bright area lamp for outside of the bathrooms/shower house and furnished part of the leadership house.

Phil Maneikis worked in the surrounding communities looking for those that need our help. He put 800 miles on his vehicle in one week. It is still early in the hurricane clean-up and repair process.

We have visited different churches the last three Sundays to make our presence known: A Methodist Church in Alva, a Baptist Church in LaBelle, and the Arca de Salvacion Latino Mennonite Church in Ft. Myers. People are very thankful we are here.

Two jobs in Immokalee and two in Bonita Springs have been completed. Josefina Vasquez, Saranie Sidney and Dwayne Bullock had old shingles removed with new ones being put on. Caroline Kratzer got a new sub-floor throughout the whole house.  Repairs are funded by several local organizations.

Many of the volunteers didn’t have to pack lunches because the homeowners were thrilled to cook for them. What a treat!

We had a great variety of week long and leadership volunteers  offering to share morning devotions. Our week-long volunteers buzzed through evening dishes. They were all so hard-working and we couldn’t have accomplished ANYTHING without them. The first two weeks’ volunteers came from Pennsylvania and New York. They didn’t even mind working on the roof in the hot sun!

We have seen several armadillos in the camp, not on the roads. We’ve enjoyed watching them and the manatees at a nearby park. The cooks grabbed their binoculars and looked for alligators, hoping they have come out of hibernation.