Winter Haven, FL RV – Weekly Report – Jan 6-10, 2020

January 14, 2020

We are starting out from scratch at this site in Winter Haven Florida, where there is still damage from Hurricane Irma’s rampage up the spine of central Florida in 2017.  We arrived last Thursday and began to make a “home” here with the very welcoming and missional people of St Johns United Methodist Church, our hosts for the winter.  They have been so gracious; providing us with a comfortable room in their Family Life Building for our office, water and electrical hookups for our RVs in the church parking lot, and access to a washer and dryer in their day care wing (after the children have gone for the day). Fred Hershey, Project Director, was joined by MDS volunteers Lynn Kipfer and Ray Heisey (both experienced plumbers) to set up the necessary drainage and collection system from our RV units, and we are good to go (or rather stay- for up to 3 months)!

Mim Heisey, Office Manager, started setting up a functioning office on site while the other 7 members of the team headed out to begin working at the first client’s home. This old Florida home is constructed of concrete block, and is in a neighborhood not far away, so we will not need to eat up large blocks of our time in travel to and from the site. Judging from the amount of work that needs to be done, it looks like we will be at this home for 2 or 3 weeks.  First there is the demolition work that all MDS volunteers are familiar with; tearing out damaged kitchen cabinets, bathroom fixtures, walls and flooring so that the needed repairs can be started on fresh surfaces with firm foundations.  Our men started tearing out the bathroom, which was virtually non functional when they arrived. The 3 ladies began preparing and then painting kitchen and front room ceiling and walls.  Roxann Livermore joked that since she is so short she could reach to paint the baseboard by just leaning over, while Val Kipfer used the extension roller to paint ceilings. 

Lots got done this week.  Lots still needs doing.  Check back for weekly updates on our progress.