Nearly two dozen volunteers from Mennonite Disaster Service have worked since late October on McElrath’s Cordova residence, which was severely damaged in the April 27 tornadoes.
The project included a new roof and total renovation of the four main interior rooms.
McElrath kept his comments brief when addressing representatives from MDS and the Walker County Long Term Recovery Committee at the end of the ceremony.
“I would like to say thank you, just thank you,” he said.
Past LTRC chairman Paul Kennedy also thanked the MDS volunteers in attendance for their months of service to local storm survivors.
The network of Anabaptist churches currently has two teams of volunteers working on local projects.
Keith Workman and his wife, Carol, of Ohio came to Walker County to serve with MDS last fall.
The couple took over as project directors on the McElrath home from Jake and Verna Martens after returning from a month-long Christmas break.
Workman pointed out that groups like LTRC must secure resources such as funding for materials before disaster organizations provide manpower.
“If that (funding) is in place, then MDS is willing to send volunteers in to help,” Workman said.
“Well, Keith, we’ve got 68 more houses ready to go,” Kennedy quickly responded, which brought laughter from the crowd.