VIM Trip to Weed, CA in 2015

Boles Fire Rebuilding    Weed, California    September 13-26, 2015


VIM Volunteers go to Weed, CA

This year’s Volunteer in Mission trip involved 38 people from 9 different organizations joining together under the FUMC logo to rebuild homes in Weed, California after the Boles Fire destroyed 130 homes in September of 2014. 

We spent 2 weeks working on 6 different projects. 

Our main project was rebuilding a home for Tiffany and Troy and their 2 children.  Their home was destroyed and they are currently living in a small RV.  They were trying to do the rebuilding themselves.  When we arrived, the subfloor was down and framing for one wall was up.  We had our largest team working there for 2 weeks and now all the walls are framed and the trusses were going up for the 2nd floor.  The family will be able to move in much sooner, thanks to our efforts.

Another of our teams worked on digging fence post holes and installing fence posts around their property.  These posts were made from railroad ties and were extremely heavy.  The group got very creative with ways to move them.  This not only helped Tiffany & Troy but their neighbors as well.

A third team worked on building forms and tying re-bar for the foundation of another house.  If winter sets in with rain or snow before a foundation is poured the home owner must wait till spring before building.  After 2 weeks work the forms were complete and cement was poured on the day we left.  It was dirty, tedious work that even involved using shop vacs to remove pebbles and debris from the bottom of the trenches.

Other teams build shelves in a storage container for tools and materials, painted trim on a house and repaired and painted walls in a building donated to Habitat for Humanity to replace one burned in the fire.

We were able to leave money for more tools and building materials with the local Recovery Committee.  The people of Weed were very grateful and all of us volunteers came home feeling like we received more that we gave.  Ask us about our experiences and listen to our stories.

Thank you for continuing to support us in these VIM projects!



Disaster response reconstruction teams are helping restore homes in the town of Weed, California.  

Prayers, payers and players help by:

  • Praying for a safe and successful effort;
  • Paying for team expenses, building materials and supplies and/or;
  • Joining the work crew.

On September 15, 2014, a firestorm destroyed 143 homes, 2 churches, the town library, community center, the area food bank and other city, private and nonprofit businesses. Approximately half of the city was destroyed over a period of less than 8 hours. Many of those who lost their homes were self- or unemployed; a few were uninsured and many were underinsured. Of the town 3000 population, we estimate that 1500 were impacted in some way, and 500 suffered significant loss. There is a social justice issue underlying this project. Weed is not a wealthy town, and many (perhaps most) of the homes that were lost were substandard. We have an opportunity to create a place for those who need affordable housing, by replacing the smaller homes that were not code-current with comfortable, modest homes in neighborhoods that are safe. The facilitation of volunteer teams and affordable materials makes this possible.

Our Teams

Our team trip is underway.  For your reference, here is our trip information.

How do we get there?

Getting there is up to each individual.  Most of us are planning to drive and will be carrying our tools with us.  There could be room to carpool .

Where will we stay?

We will stay at a local motel in Weed. We usually share a room with another person to help with costs.  If you’d like a private room this can be arranged but you’d pay the entire cost of the room.  There is also an RV park with full hook-ups at the motel and some will be staying there.

Where will we eat?

For breakfast, the motel provides a microwave, mini-fridge and has a good, affordable restaurant.  We will make our own lunches and dinners in a local facility. 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 a variety of tasks, including roofing , hanging sheetrock, installing flooring, mudding, painting, carpentry, and some minor plumbing and electrical work.

What tools do I need to bring?

Bring major tools if you have them, and you are encouraged to bring personal hand tools. Be sure to mark them as they all look the same!

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.

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!  We will relax and see some of the local sights during the weekend in-between.

Q & A:

When: There are two teams, one from Sunday, Sept. 13 to Saturday, Sept. 19 and another from Sunday, Sept. 20 to Saturday, Sept. 26. You can choose to be on both teams and stay the full two weeks.

Who: Anyone over 16 years of age! 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 — we can teach you what you need to know. Although there are some tasks in any reconstruction project that may be strenuous or require a specialized skill, the majority of the tasks can be accomplished by anyone. 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, 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 is $135 per person each week (food, shirts, team gas, etc.); motel (2 to a room) is about $210 a person/week; RV parking with full hook-ups is $160 a week. To this add your personal vehicle cost, breakfast each day plus one night a week out at a restaurant.

We held an informational meeting on May 19, 2015, at 7 PM at First UMC Santa Rosa.  
A deposit of $75 per person was due by the June 16 meeting.

For more information, contact Diane Jackson.

Download the trip brochure here.

Event Date: 

Sun, 09/13/2015 - 10:00