Wharton, TX – Weekly Report – Jan 6-10, 2020

January 15, 2020

This was a week of new beginnings. The Wharton MDS project is beginning again after a three-week holiday. Lois and Wayne Hochstetler, Project Director and Office Manager, and Eric and Grace Miller, Construction Supervisor and Assistant Cook, all arrived on January 2 to open the unit again and set up for the other volunteers who will be coming. Rodney Hager, Henry Wiens, and Bill Peters, Crew Leaders, arrived shortly. These long-term volunteers will all stay through January, with some staying until mid-February. They represent a variety of backgrounds and experiences, and all are dedicated to assisting the weekly volunteers and work with the local Wharton County Recovery Team (WCRT) as the community recovers from Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

The first group of 15 volunteers came from the upstate New York area of Finger Lakes. These young men and women came to work, and to work hard. Because we were opening-up work projects again, we all had to give a bit as we waited for word regarding our work. But as houses became available and materials brought to the sites, work began with energy and enthusiasm. On two houses, we took over where last year’s crews left off, and are finishing the caulking and painting. Because of good weather, we were also given a house which needed a new roof. The crew completed that task in two days, and then everyone returned to painting and to tiling bathrooms. The week finished in good fashion, and the New York group went to the coast on Saturday before returning home.

Besides the work, highlights of the week were a tour of the Hudgens Brahman Cattle Ranch, singing together, and having fun in the evenings around the campfire.

Next week’s weather forecast calls for rain every day. We hope it does not materialize that way, since we will be challenged to find indoor work. However, the WCRT has promised to give us more houses with inside work, such as drywall work and painting. So, hopefully we will have adequate and meaningful work. We will hope to finish two houses, and we hope to begin plans for house dedications.

Submitted on behalf of the Wharton team by Wayne Hochstetler, Office manager