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Day three in Pensacola: “Wow!”

By Calli Speakman, volunteer coordinator at Pensacola Habitat for Humanity


The McCoy family in front of their home.


The six homes the AmeriCops members worked on during the Build-a-Thon


AmeriCorps members and Blue Angels work together to raise a wall


“Wow” is the word for the Build-a-Thon in Pensacola. During the closing ceremony, everyone used it to describe the amount of work the AmeriCorps members did during the week.

By the end of the third build day, all three houses had doors and windows installed and the roofs had shingles on them. Due to permit issues, siding could not be put on the homes, so on the last day, the members started framing three new homes.

By the end of the last day, the original three homes were dried-in and walls were put up on the additional three homes. That is a total of six homes!

During the closing ceremony Rick Evens, the Pensacola Habitat construction manager, said that the AmeriCorps members exceed his expectations and joked about having the members miss their flights so they could stay and work longer in Pensacola.

On the last day, the members did have some help. The support crew of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels came out and worked on the homes alongside the AmeriCorps members. It was so cool to see the Blue Angels and the AmeriCorps members working together and the both groups really enjoyed it.

I was able to sit down and talk to one of Blue Angels and explain about the AmeriCorps program and how it has been a great experience for me. Another memorable moment was when Heather McCoy, a Pensacola partner family member, came up to me, pointed and said, “That is my house; they are working on my house.” The excitement and joy on her face was priceless. She was so excited that we were starting her home.

The Pensacola Build-a-Thon was truly amazing to be a part of. When leaving the Campshire subdivision and seeing six homes started, all I could think was, “Wow!”

I thought about all the hard work, sweat, sore muscles and blisters that went into building those homes. I also tried to picture what Camshire will be like when it is finished, with 114 families in their homes and with their children playing together and I became excited that I was there to witness the beginning of it all.