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In November, Maranatha Volunteers International and the Paradise Seventh-day Adventist Church celebrated the completion of an ambitious community outreach project. In just three weeks of intense activity, volunteers constructed 202 — surpassing the initial goal of 200 — storage sheds for survivors of the Camp Fire, a devastating wildfire that destroyed the town of Paradise in 2018.
“It is a real sense of blessing to see what so many dedicated volunteers were able to accomplish in less than the original time allotted for this project. Each shed represents hope and a measure of love delivered to people that have experienced so much loss this past year,” said David Woods, director of North America Projects for Maranatha and construction coordinator for the project in Paradise.
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The shed project, as it came to be called, was a joint effort between Maranatha and Love Paradise, an outreach organization of the Paradise church. The idea came about in early September, when Joelle Chinnock, director of development and disaster recovery for Love Paradise, heard about the need for safe, dry storage sheds for the 2,000 plus people who had moved back onto their properties in Paradise. Most of the residents are living in trailers with no place to store their personal belongings. In one situation, a woman on dialysis was having to store her medical supplies outside in cardboard boxes.
“I was thinking, let’s build a couple [sheds] in our parking lot, and get our local contractors, and some church members, and we’ll be done. But Garrison [Chaffee] remembered that Maranatha had stepped out right after the fire and called our church and said, ‘What can we come up and do?’” says Chinnock. Chaffee is the associate and youth pastor for the Paradise church and director of Love Paradise. “So he put two and two...
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