Building on Faith
Published 12:24 am Monday, July 2, 2007
A year ago, local Habitat for Humanity members welcomed more than 60 volunteers from across the country to help them build two houses in just four days.
This summer, Habitat hopes to build one house in three days - with all local volunteers.
Habitat will kick off its latest building blitz on Friday, July 27. Habitat director Alecia Glaize is working to recruit volunteers in a variety of creative ways.
For example: At least five churches so far have responded to the call for church volunteers. Each church is being asked to pledge $200 to the cause - and 200 man-hours, Glaize said.
Because of the churches' involvement, the building blitz has an appropriate theme - “building on faith.” Signs advertising the blitz have popped up in yards throughout Brewton.
Glaize is also asking coaches from W.S. Neal and T.R. Miller to invite their football players to come to the blitz on its first day. The team that donates the most man-hours will win a cookout, and both teams will have a chance to work alongside local college and professional players who have also been invited to the build.
Because so many local schoolchildren - including the five children who will live in the latest home - benefit from Habitat, Glaize said that gives local student athletes an extra incentive to volunteer.
The goal for the three-day blitz is to have the shell of the four-bedroom house built - the roof on, the windows and doors on and sheetrock ready to go up. The quicker that happens, Glaize said, the quicker the air conditioning can go in.
The house will be Habitat's 12th in Brewton, following two homes that were built on Conoley Avenue during last year's building blitz and another whose renovations were begun when the out-of-town volunteers were in Brewton. College students on spring break mission trips have done most of the work on that home.
The latest house will be home to Barbara and Kelvin Ewing and the five grandchildren they are raising.
The Ewings know all about “sweat equity” - the man-hours they are required to put into building their home. They worked with Habitat in the past to help their daughter build a home, and Kelvin Ewing is already keeping his new lot mowed.
Glaize admits being a little nervous about asking volunteers to build a house in a south Alabama summer weekend. But she said the time is right for a new family to begin the process of getting a new home.
After the Ewings, Habitat already has another family lined up to begin construction on a 13th house. Glaize said foundations for both houses will be poured this summer.
And Habitat has another first with the next house - Turning Leaf Development will oversee the construction of the house, although volunteers will still do the work.
Habitat has set a goal of three months - from the start of the building blitz - to get the Ewings moved into their new home.
The two homes completed last summer took 78 days from start to finish, including having the help from out-of-town volunteers led by Habitat guru Tom Gerdy of Virginia.