By Lee Rowley
What a couple of days it’s been! Here in Milwaukee we’re building a record number of houses in just one week. The total comes to 10 with six being constructed by AmeriCorps and four by regular volunteers and outside groups.
Usually here at Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity we call these weeks Blitz Builds, but I’ve deemed this one a Mega Blitz. I’ve been enthusiastically pushing it around the construction and front office, but it has yet to catch on. Oh well. I’m still going to use it.
As a second-year AmeriCorps member, one of the vivid memories of my first year was preparing for Blitz Build weeks. Tools, materials, top and bottom wall plates, water coolers, first aid buckets, ladders, kitchen sinks, and prefabricated window frames have to be set up, organized and taken out to on-site storage before volunteers arrive. We try to anticipate and prepare for everything and anything.
Yet, those weeks we only build four to six houses. But remember this week is a Mega Blitz. Yes! I got to use it again! See, isn’t that a better name for it?
Anyway, the six AmeriCorps members that currently work with Milwaukee HFH spent Thursday, Friday and part of Saturday last week literally moving tons of materials and tools. We figured out that each house’s worth of top and bottom wall plates weigh in at 1,500 pounds each – multiply that by 10. Yeah, that’s like over a million pounds of weight. And we only have one trailer! Not to mention the countless tools and whatnot that we strapped tight into six different trucks.
See what I mean, though? Even preparing stuff is mega-like. We totally should call it Mega Blitz. Maybe I can start a petition…
Continuing on, we successfully we able to get all of our on-site storage units loaded up with everything from a-frame ladders to carpenter squares to construction crayons. It really was a site to behold. Everything in its right place, nice and neat. It was a lot like Christmas morning, except no gift wrap. Actually, I’d call it a Mega Christmas. Well, that’s pushing it too far.
Now we wait for the coming Mega Blitz.
Lee Rowley is a Wisconsinite in every sense of the word. He loves cheese, beer and cried with joy when the Packers won the Super Bowl this past year. Shortly after graduating college, he joined the Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity as an Americorps member. Now in his second year he'll be leading fellow Americorps as a House leader for Milwaukee's Blitz Week.