Three Communities Accept the Challenge

The 21st Century Challenge

Meet the Simmons Family

Jimmy Carter Work Project 2003
Volunteers - Valdosta, Ga.

Cindy Huckins, of Cincinnati, Ohio, nails Blueboard to the outside of house #36 at the Valdosta site. Despite needing surgery on her leg, she was determined to attend JCWP no matter what.
Despite an injured leg,
she’s offering a hand up
By Shawn Reeves

Forget the weather. Even a needed surgery wouldn’t stop volunteer Cindy Huckins from building this week.

In March, Cindy tore a ligament in her leg, and it will require surgery, but when faced with the need for such medical attention, she told her doctor “he would just have to wait.”

“Besides,” she says, “I’ve got another one,” referring to the other leg that provides a little more stability on a muddy build site.

Having participated in several Jimmy Carter Work Projects, including events in Sumter County, Ga. (2000), Korea (2001) and South Africa (2002), Cindy is no stranger to the activity in Valdosta this week. And Habitat for Humanity is certainly no foreign concept for her either.

Cindy launched her Habitat involvement 11 years ago during a Women Build project with her Mill Creek Valley affiliate in Cincinnati. Her task was putting on a roof in the snow. She says that, for her, when the Habitat bug bit in those conditions, it said a lot about the importance of the work she was doing—and of the rewards she received in doing it.

In addition to her weekly construction work spanning more than a decade, she chairs her affiliate’s family selection committee and recently rotated off the board of directors after six years.

Cindy says when she experienced some challenging times in her own life, people were there to lend support, and now she finds in her Habitat involvement an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.

“I’ve experienced the difficulty of working multiple jobs and making a minimal salary,” she says. “When working with homeowners, you can see the difference the effort is making in their lives, even while you’re building right beside them.”

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