Pre-Building Paves Way for Blitz
AMERICUS, Georgia (March 29, 1999) -- When more than 1,000 volunteers arrived at the Easter Morning Build site Saturday morning, all the building materials were ready and waiting for them. As the sun rose, so did the walls and the trusses, framing what will become a family's new home.
But how did the foundations get there and who made the trusses and walls? Are the windows and the doors straight from a factory?
Sixty construction volunteers at the Americus-Sumter County Habitat for Humanity affiliate have been working since January to prepare for the second annual EMB.
Thirty-two of these volunteers are Habitat*AmeriCorps members. A partnership between Habitat for Humanity International and AmeriCorps, the federal government's youth volunteer program, Habitat*AmeriCorps members work to eliminate substandard housing, logging 1,700 hours of community service in a year.
Before the build, AmeriCorps members surveyed the land and staked out where each house would be constructed. Second-year AmeriCorps member Stacie White served as the building partner coordinator, helping families select floor plans and house options. Crews worked weekends and evenings digging 4,000 feet of footings and laying 12,364 concrete blocks. Other crews worked for hours cutting lumber and building the 624 trusses needed to uphold 25 roofs. All prep work was undertaken while crews continued to work on and complete non-blitz houses.
Even after the prep work was complete and the last trailer of material dropped off at the site, the work did not end for the construction crews. Each Habitat partner family partners with an AmeriCorps member who helps build and supervise the home's construction.
"Working so closely with a partner family really helps the AmeriCorps members understand the dynamics of the Habitat mission," said Darius Harris, the AmeriCorps program manager at Americus-Sumter County HFH.
After the EMB volunteers retire for the evening, the AmeriCorps and affiliate volunteers will still be at the site making sure the build stays on schedule. "It seems crazy to work 12- and14-hour days after preparing for the last three months," said Rebecca Taggart, Habitat*AmeriCorps member. "But the blitz is fun; you don't feel like you are working so hard."
Many of the AmeriCorps members know what to expect at this build. There are 14 returning Habitat*AmeriCorps members who helped with last year's EMB. They assist first-year members and guide them through the build.
"I am really pleased and proud of how the members have served," said Harris. "I am impressed with all the hard work they have put into preparing for this blitz. In my opinion, without the work the AmeriCorps members have contributed, this blitz would not be possible."
Return to Monday's 1999 EMB Report
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