Three Communities Accept the Challenge

The 21st Century Challenge

Meet the Simmons Family

Jimmy Carter Work Project 2003
Volunteers - LaGrange, Ga.
June 8, 2003

Volunteer Dan Porfilio, right, has enjoyed working with his crew: "Because everyone volunteers, it's a great bunch of people."
Veteran Builder

Habitat "is a way to help people help society"

Dan Porfilio retired last May, but you wouldn't know it to watch him on the build site. Like all the construction volunteers and homeowners on site in LaGrange on Saturday, he was busily measuring lumber, pounding nails and fitting walls together.

Porfilio moved from Marion, Ind., to Jacksonville, Fla., last year to be closer to grandchildren. In Marion, he worked on dozens of Habitat houses, and when he heard volunteer spots were available for LaGrange, he signed on to work under one of the same construction supervisors he knew in Indiana.

With the experiences of many builds behind him, Porfilio was not distressed about the possibility of Saturday's rain slowing down the build schedule. "I learned a long time ago that these things work out," he says.

For volunteers accustomed to a build schedule of several weeks or months, watching the site transform from a collection of slabs to a neighborhood of completed houses is dramatic; Porfilio says he is looking forward to seeing the completed houses at the end of the week. Another transformation he enjoys takes place in the lives of the children who will live in these new houses.

"My experience is that they and their kids will feel better about Mommy and Daddy owning a home," he says. "I think it's a great program. It's a way to help people help society."

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