Of the many ways in which we serve, directly meeting the needs of those suffering is one of the greatest things we as Christians can do. Over the last few months, these articles have focused on how we’ve been meeting immediate needs as the wildfires in Northern California have blazed throughout the summer. Today, we take a look at volunteers who are building homes, and meeting the long term needs of fire survivors.

The First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa sent a team of volunteers to our camp in Lake County. They spent two weeks working on several homes and even attended one of our home dedications! We had a chance to talk with a couple of their volunteers. We wanted to know what brought them out to serve in the first place. “It’s a feel good reason for myself. We do a lot of building and people say ‘oh thank you for coming.’ Those of us that are volunteering, we get so much out of being here,” said Paul Desideri

As for the work they were doing over the course of these two weeks, it was not only a serving experience, but a learning experience for most. Bob Gaisor, a first time Hope City Volunteer told us, “I learned a lot. How important it is to do every little thing carefully because the next thing is gonna depend on it and it’s not easy getting everything square and straight and right length and everything.” Because we know not everyone is a master carpenter when they come to volunteer with us, we have our site supervisors on hand to educate and coordinate. This team worked on many projects including completing the sheet rocking on an entire home and building decks on the front and side of one home.

Along with working on homes while they were here, the volunteers got to meet many of our families at Hope City’s Family Night! It’s a night we set aside to have all of our families over for a meal at our dorm in Lake County. It gives the volunteers a chance to get to know the people they’re here serving. “It’s fun! It’s a real kick to get to know people, to hear their story. There’s just so much going into what Hope City helps with,” said Larry Wolford. And it’s so very true! We’re all about relationships, with our community, our volunteers and especially with our home owners.

Of course, after two weeks of working on homes, many of our volunteers are ready to head home. Gaisor told us, “It’s been two weeks of a lot of work, I’m ready to get home and sleep in my own bed. But I’ll be back next year.” That’s what we like to hear: our volunteers looking forward to the next time they get to serve!

We love our volunteers, and we couldn’t do the work we’re called to do without them. If you would like to schedule a team, contact Tim Saunders at [email protected] He’ll be glad to get you more information and set up a time for you to bring a group out to work!