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Wharton, TX – Weekly Report – Jan 21-25, 2019

January 30, 2019

We continued this week with the same seven leadership volunteers as last week. Ethan from British Columbia, and Jeffrey from Iowa stayed on as weekly volunteers and were joined by eight men and seven women from the Penn Yan area of New York. This brought us to a total of twenty four at Wharton this week.

Work continued at the home of Sanford Floyd. The underlayment has been put down and there are still two rooms and the foyer to complete with vinyl tiles. His daughter came by to look and said it looks great. Crews had some difficulty getting every edge to stick down and we may have to procure a roller to press the tile in place.

We also worked at Balentin Ferrel’s house on some trim work. It was suggested by crew leader Bruce that the best way to deal with some unsightly corners would be to put up trim around doorways rather than try to replace corner bead and blend in to the drywall. The homeowner agreed to this, and is pleased with the results.

The indoor work continues at the warehouse location. Primer and paint was applied to house number three siding, and then the paint crew primed the sheets of OSB that will be fastened to the undersides of houses one and two. We are still waiting to have these homeowners identified so we can refer to them by name.

This was a big week for the Wharton project. We finally got the go-ahead to begin work at the home sites!  The first rim joists went on late Tuesday morning. All the volunteers came to the sites to be a part of this. The men really had to hammer to get the boards into the brackets. Next were the floor joist hangers and many volunteers had hammers in hand. One remarked, “This is what we came for!” This happened to be the day that Tom Smucker and Kevin King came to visit along with Carol Flores from the regional VOAD. They joined us for dinner that evening and were very encouraging.  By Thursday the floors were on and we were ready to raise walls on the first house. This went quickly because the walls had been framed ahead of time at the warehouse and were brought to the sites on a trailer. By the end of the week we had things ready to put up the trusses, so that is where we will begin next week.

At reports one evening, Elma brought show-and-tell: one of the new toolboxes that Marco had built for the crew leaders to use. They turned out great and will be very helpful on this project.

We are receiving a great deal of gratitude from this community. Neighbors frequently drive past and stop to ask questions. They always thank us for doing this, even if it is not their own house. One neighbor likes to bring donuts for the crews. Local churches continue providing a hot meal for Friday lunch. We in turn pass this gratitude on to those who are at home covering our responsibilities so we can be here, and to those who provide financial support to cover our travel, lodging, tools, and everything else we need to get the job done. We also thank the Wharton County Recovery Team and all their funders who supply the building materials. It truly is a team effort!

Patti Hughes for the Wharton team