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Milwaukee Build-a-Thon 2012: DONE

By Andrew White


Andrew White worked on Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity’s 497th home — on North 18th Street — during last week’s AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon. This is the framed product on the final build day on May 18. Photo by Andrew White


It’s Monday morning at 2960 North 18th Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The hammers are silent, the sawdust has settled, and the 20-plus AmeriCorps who shed their blood, sweat, and tears here all last week are nowhere to be found. This can only mean one thing — Milwaukee Build-a-Thon 2012 is over.

This means that I’m back at the Milwaukee Habitat office, free from fear of hammered fingers and falling objects. It means that I’m incredibly depressed, back at my desk plucking away at this computer. It means that I’m back to the monumental task of building a safety program for Milwaukee Habitat.

But most of all, it means that I’ve never been more proud to be a part of this great affiliate!

Habitat Milwaukee pulled out all the stops last week. Just take a look at our roundup:

  • 10 houses: All of them are framed.
  • Weather: 70s and sunny all week.
  • Hospitality: Great food was had by all — fresh strawberries, Palermo’s Pizza, Champps Sausages and a Milwaukee Brewers block party to boot.
  • Habitat spirit: We gave out more T-shirts than anyone could ever wear.
  • Entertainment: How ’bout that Brewers game?!

Milwaukee Build-a-Thon was everything I expected and more. Nothing — well, almost nothing — went wrong. I asked construction director Adam Helt-Baldwin what he thought of the week. In his words: “It went perfectly!”

Now the big challenge is coming off the “Habitat high” of Build-a-Thon and carrying that enthusiasm into everything we do at Habitat. It’s not going to be an easy task, to be sure. The important thing is that we keep in mind what great work we can accomplish when we are united in purpose.

If 100 AmeriCorps members can frame six houses in one week, what can the entire Habitat organization accomplish?