Willow, AK – Weekly Report – Aug 31-Sept 4, 2020

September 17, 2020

The MDS project in Willow, Alaska was by invitation from the community itself. Volunteers were asked to follow the safety protocols and procedures put in place by MDS to ensure that the communities and people that we serve are protected. As MDS looks to reopen projects, the Benchmarks for Project Startup document will be used to guide the decision making process.


The McKinley Fire Project welcomed in a new Project Director, Wilbur Litwiller from Iowa, on August 27th. A new batch of two week volunteers arrived on Saturday, Bruce and Karen from California, Tom and Mark from Illinois, James from Maryland, Walter from Ohio, Dan and Richard from Iowa, and new Crew Leader, Herb from Pennsylvania. This new group joins Michele, as she continues to work with Wilbur on meeting the UMCOR grant requirements and office roles; Marilyn and Betsy are keeping the kitchen warm and bellies full; Kent covering both CoVid Mitigation and Office Manager; Doug as Construction Supervisor, Lavern as Crew Leader, and Doug, the one volunteer that stuck around. 

The week can be summed up in four words….electrical, plumbing, sheetrock, insulation. These jobs were the main focus for all the crews. Just when you think you are finished there is another pipe to be installed, another wire to be run or plug to install. 

At Ned’s house final water lines were run and system was pressure tested. A few more electrical boxes and a light installed and started blowing insulation into the attic. All the interior wall OSB is up and the homeowner is in process of painting it. 

At Ron’s house the water lines were finished and pressure tested. A leaky window received some attention, and attic insulation begun. 

At Lori’s house, again the final water lines were installed and pressure tested. The tub and drain was installed. Sheetrock throughout the house installed, and attic insulation begun. 

At Keith’s the wall panels were hung, subfloor and trim installed, and attic insulation begun. 

At Ben’s a front porch and steps were built, insulation and visquine installed in the exterior walls, visquine and sheetrock installed on ceiling and attic insulation begun. 

At Thompson’s house electrical and plumbing continued, the ceiling was sheetrocked, shower installed, and attic insulation started.