"It's been a great experience this week," says Betty Polk. "It's hard work, but it's been fun and every drop of sweat is worth it."

She and her husband, Seff, learned about Habitat for Humanity when a neighbor brought them an application to become one of the 100 homeowner families selected for this year's Jimmy Carter Work Project. "We just filled it out and sent it in," Betty says. "Initially, we thought, 'We'll just do it and see what happens.'"

"I kept the faith," laughs Seff, rolling paint onto the walls of what will be one of the bedrooms in their new house. The Polks will live with their two children, Trena and Jason, and their granddaughter Latrice.

"We've been making great friends," says Betty of her volunteer crew. "They're just like a flower, you know? It's great to be with people who have compassion. As long as there are people like that, their petals will never fall."

Betty hopes that other families needing decent housing will apply to Habitat. "I want them to know that this is a blessed opportunity," she says, "just don't let it pass you up. It's like God reaching down and saying, 'Here.' It's God's love, and a new foundation for the family."

The experience also has given her a whole new set of skills. "I've learned so much I could go out there and build me another little house," Betty says. "I was thinking later on down the road we'll get the chance to take a Habitat trip, to go somewhere and help build... when you're blessed, you need to pass it on."

Other Stories from the 1998 JCWP
JCWP Homeowners:
Olga Martinez

"I really want a house," Martinez told herself. "Not just for me, but for my kids."

More stories:
John and Belvin Richard
Nancy Rosas
Wade and Shalina Gibson
JCWP Volunteers:
Campus Chapters

Student volunteers are building two houses at this year's Jimmy Carter Work Project.

More stories:
Eunita Shields
First Ladies for Habitat
Joanne and Greg Janson
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter
JCWP Behind the Scenes:
First Aid

What do the volunteers in the first aid tent do? Hopefully, very little.

More stories:
The Green Team
Security Volunteers
Food Service
Day-By-Day Photo Journal | 1998 JCWP Home Page

JCWP Overviews: 1984-96 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000

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