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Everyone, grab your hammers

Day two on the build site at the 2012 Build-a-Thon event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
By Julia Sellers


Blogger Julia Sellers


Ever need a kick in the pants about your work ethic? Just come watch an AmeriCorps Build-a-Thon team in action.

Before 8:45 a.m. the crews of 100+ Build-a-Thon members had the first walls up on one of 10 homes they’re working on with Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity.

Just after lunch, interior rooms and porches were starting to form.

It’s amazing to see everyone grab his or her hammer as naturally as I would a pen and get to work. After devotions ended, everyone fell in line like little ants and followed along until the job was done and then moved on to the next task seamlessly.

And it’s not just the 20-somethings that make my job of documenting Build-a-Thon feel, well, lazy. It’s also the Baby Boomers in AmeriCorps service, like Wilbur Highleyman, who are climbing ladders, and sweating buckets over the young guns that could be their children or grandchildren.

At lunch, while I’m waiting to interview homeowners and members, I got in the kitchen and slathered mayo on some bread (um, yuck), cut up peppers and made probably the best Country Time Lemonade you’ve ever had in your life. Is it really hard work? Um, nope, but it made sitting in the shade the rest of the afternoon holding “office interviews” on a neighborhood stoop a little easier to stomach.

Julia Sellers is a writer/editor based in Americus, Georgia.