Building blitz begins

Published 8:49 pm Monday, May 8, 2006

Four days, two houses and dozens of Habitat for Humanity volunteers working at temperatures of 80 degrees and above?
Forget the heat and the hard work, said Owen - a Lynchburg, Va., resident who has worked on Habitat for Humanity projects across the country. Brewton's hospitality has made the trip &#8220sweet,” he said.
Of course, Habitat volunteers are no stranger to the hard work. With 60 volunteers from nine states and more than 200 signed up from the Brewton are, the four-day building blitz will keep the site on Conoley Avenue busy through Tuesday.
Volunteers started work Saturday building two houses for the families of Tinita McFugerson and Anne Walton.
But the work actually began in March, under a light snow in Lynchburg, where the two houses were framed up. They were trucked all the way down to Brewton courtesy of Ed Brown and Highway Transport.
Over the weekend and through Tuesday, volunteers will be working on a tight schedule to finish framing the houses, put on siding and shingles, install insulation and drywall, and even landscape both houses. In the end, both families - who are required by Habitat to put in &#8220sweat equity” on their houses - will almost be ready to move in.
The blitz has been organized by the local Habitat chapter, which is nearly a decade old, and by Lynchburg volunteer Tom Gerdy, whose work has inspired cable network CMT to videotape a piece on him this weekend.
Brewton Habitat board member Denise Alverson said the group can always use more volunteers, especially on Monday and Tuesday, when work obligations will keep many volunteers away.
Volunteers can park at First United Methodist Church on Belleville Avenue and catch a shuttle to the site, or they can park at St. Maurice Catholic Church on East Jackson Street.
Volunteers can then sign in at the volunteer tent. Work will be under way from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
Owen warns that Habitat work can be addictive. &#8220We're here to teach and to spread the disease - Habititis,” he joked.
Owen, who was attracted to the work because of the challenge and stayed because of the people, has some advice for new volunteers: &#8220Be safe, listen and have fun.”

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