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Volunteers needed for rebuilding after firestorm in February

In White Swan at the Yakama Christian Mission, director David Bell is coordinating construction for rebuilding homes destroyed by fire storms with winds of more than 50-mile-per-hour in February that destroyed or damaged more than 100 houses.

Roof repairs in White Swan

house needs repairs

Wesley United Methodist youth help repair wind damage
to roof of one house. Photos courtesy of David Bell

He is working both with the Yakama Tribe and with SAGE, an ecumenical venture between the Yakima Christian Mission and Wilbur Memorial United Methodist Church.

United Church of Christ volunteers are needed to help through the summer and particularly for a 14-day Blitz Build of one house beginning Labor Day weekend and ending with the annual Yakama Indian Days Powwow. The blitz build, he said, needs 20 volunteers a day.

The owner of that home cannot afford a loan, so to have a roof overhead by winter, volunteers are needed to rebuild. A lack of summer volunteers to help rebuild has caused five other low-income homeowners to seek loans to hire contractors to do the work.

Many repairs are from wind damage to roofs, windows and doors, plus fire and smoke damage in other homes. The Yakama Nation is engaged in rebuilding all destroyed homes.

X From June through August, the SAGE is focused on rebuilding. It offers volunteers the opportunity both to help survivors gain safe and healthy housing and to learn howhow racism, culture and economic injustice helped cause such events as the February firestorm.

For information, call 509-969-2093, email or visit yakamamission.

Copyright Pacific Northwest Conference News © Summer 2011





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