Inspiring Hope – Join me as I feature incredible people who are making a difference for families affected by the wildfires in Lake County, California. I have the privilege of meeting homeowners, volunteers and local business leaders who are making Lake County a better place. Today we meet a volunteer who’s given more than 100 volunteer hours this year and brought along other volunteers to multiply the effect.
Ron Priest runs a busy construction crew all week long and then on the weekend, he spends more time working. But his weekend work focuses on rebuilding homes in Middletown, California for families who lost their homes to the Valley Fire in September 2015.
Ron recruited volunteers and brought in a team nearly every Saturday this summer, driving in from his home in Angwin about 30 miles away from Middletown. He recruits from his church, from his friends and even has employees who volunteer with him. Hope Crisis Response Network currently has four homes under construction in Middletown. Ron and his crews have worked on all four. They have dug footers, poured foundations, laid floor joists, and framed.
“Serving on the weekends, inspires me and gives me strength for the week,” said Ron. “I started volunteering more than 15 years ago and traveled across the United States and internationally, but now God has given me a place to serve in my own backyard. I’m so blessed to be able to help these homeowners. I just think the world of them.”
Ron says recruiting new people to volunteer is important. Ron explains, “You get a taste for serving, you have that experience and you get hooked. It’s a privilege to serve. You get closer to God.”
Ron’s teams have worked through 100 degree afternoons, created special friendships with homeowners and spread hope through the community. But Ron said the greatest moment of volunteering with Hope City, came just two weeks ago when his 9 year old son, Joel, joined them on the work site. Ron said, “Seeing my son step up, take the initiative and work as one of the guys on the build site; that was a special moment. Once you volunteer and give, it gets in your heart and you’ll need to continue to do it. Even kids can learn how important that is.” Joel may not always be on the build site though, he’d like to help in other ways too. He’s planning to be a firefighter when he grows up!
“It’s a privilege to serve. Kevin Cox and Kevin Moss have a gift and talent for this work and they are extraordinary!”
Thank you Ron!