HFH Bay-Waveland Area: A big boost toward rebuilding -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1

HFH Bay-Waveland Area: A big boost toward rebuilding

For the 2008 Carter Project, 300 volunteers from around the United States and Ireland helped build 10 homes in the Diamondhead community of southern Mississippi. The neighborhood was created after Hurricane Camille devastated the area in 1969, and is now becoming home to many people displaced by Katrina in 2005.

“In 1972, three years after the community was established, they had still only built 15 homes,” said David Walker, communications director for Habitat for Humanity Bay-Waveland Area. “This year, in just one week, volunteers and partner families built 10 homes!”

This year’s Carter Project was a galvanizing event for a community still coping with Katrina’s aftermath. There were countless highlights during the week of building: All five churches in Diamondhead took part in the project, for instance, taking turns providing daily devotions and volunteers. New homeowner Audrey Steele celebrated her birthday on the day of her house dedication, sharing cake with the 30-plus strangers who worked on her home all week.

And on the day scheduled for house photos, torrential downpours and tornado watches couldn’t keep former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, away. “When they came, the weather eased up just enough for them to participate in house photos, and to share in a brief lunch,” Walker said. “It was a high moment for the homeowners, volunteers and staff.”

One month later, landscaping and minor finish work is all that remains to be done on the 10 Carter Project houses.

“Thanks to the volunteers’ tremendous efforts, 10 families will be able to take a major step forward in their lives,” Walker said. “There is much work left to do. It will be years before these coastal communities will be able to sustain the rebuilding effort on their own. Everyone’s contribution is vital to our recovery. Please come back soon!”

How to volunteer:
Call 228-467-9699 or visit www.habitatbaywaveland.org