VIM Trip to Lake County, 2016


Valley Fire Rebuilding, Lake County California


Disaster response reconstruction teams have been formed to help restore homes in Lake County, California.  Your efforts can help rebuild family lives by putting them back in a safe, sanitary and secure home where they belong.

This year we coordinated two different sessions:

      Sunday, June 12 to Friday, June 17 (Family Oriented)

      Sunday, Sep. 17 to Friday, Sep. 30

On September 12, 2015, a wildfire began in Lake County which, in the month before it was extinguished, destroyed 1,958 structures, including 1,280 homes, 27 multi-family dwellings, 66 commercial properties and 581 other buildings.  In addition, 41 home plus 53 other structures were damaged.  There were 4 civilian fatalities and 4 firefighters injured.  Approximately half of the community of Middletown was destroyed over a period of less than 8 hours.

With the need to remove the toxic materials contained in the fire debris, the lots the homes sat on must be bulldozed down to clean soil and that task could not be completed before the winter rains made some of the area too soggy to support heavy machinery.

Because of its closeness, we planned on three sessions this year, totaling three weeks for volunteer reconstruction.  One week, June 12 to 17, was family oriented where youth 12 and over are invited to participate. with their parents.

Q & A

Where will we stay?

We will stay at the Lion's Club in Middletown, in dormitories, unless you bring an RV.  There is an RV park with full hook-ups at the volunteer center.  Because of the fires in 2015 and 2016, hotel space is very limited and probably not available.

Where will we eat?

We will make our own meals at the volunteer center.   We will have a cook as part of the teams, but all will share in kitchen chores.

What kind of work will we do?

Our specific tasks will not be assigned until we arrive, as we will most likely continue whatever the preceding team was doing. We are willing to perform almost anything,, including framing, roofing , hanging sheetrock, installing flooring, mudding, painting, carpentry, and some minor plumbing and electrical work.

What if I am not skilled in this work?

The work is broken down into manageable tasks, and we will find something that you can do. Don't underestimate your abilities when we work as a team and help each other out. And if rebuilding isn't your thing, we will need a cook and a supply runner.

What tools do I need to bring?

Everyone needs to bring their personal hand tools. Be sure to mark them as they all look the same!  Hope City will provide tool trailers with larger tools.

Is it all work and no play?

A lot of work, a little play, but the feeling that you take with you from helping others is better than you might believe!  Being next door to our homes we will probably not have the normal organized tours.

When: This year there are two sessions with three teams.  There is a family oriented session from June 12 to 18 where youth 12 or over can participate with their parents. There is also two-week reconstruction session from September 17 to 30.  All weeks start with dinner on Sunday.  You can choose to be on any of the teams and can stay for one or two weeks on the regular team.   

Who: Anyone over 16 years of age on the regular reconstruction teams. On the family-oriented team (Sun Jun 12-Fri Jun 17) youth 12 and up may work if accompanied by a parent.  If you know the difference between a hammer and a potato peeler, we have work for you. You do not need to be a skilled tradesman.  Although there are some tasks in any construction project that may be strenuous or require a specialized skill, the majority can be accomplished by anyone. Chores will be broken down into manageable tasks and we can teach you what you need to know. Our goal is to work as a team, utilizing all the various skills and gifts we bring. We hope you will join us for this exciting "hands-on" ministry!

Do I need to be a Methodist? No, we aren’t all Methodists, but you should be a person of faith, willing to work for the glory of God and able to subscribe to the slogan "It's not about me!"

What do we estimate it will it cost? This year there is no airfare.  Yea!   Most of us will be driving our own vehicles, and car-pooling is always a possibility.   Team cost per person is  a $50 one time fee (shirts, team gas, etc.); then food is $50 per week and dorm housing is $100 a week; RV parking with full hook-ups is $100 a week.  RV’s can house several people. That adds up to $200 per person for one week in the dorm  or $350 per person for two weeks in the dorm, and less for RVers. 


Please contact Diane Jackson or Norm Hardin if you  have questions.