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Raising the walls

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I arrived at 911 Cleburne Street around 7:15 this morning full of excitement and expectation for a wonderful build day. The sky was a beautiful Georgia blue, not a cloud in sight this 70-degree morning. Perfect for building! Immediately, volunteers began to arrive to set up the site.

This site’s future homeowner is James Hightower. Mr. Hightower is a disabled Glynn County police officer who is confined to a wheelchair as a result of a motorcycle accident. We decided that we would hold the morning’s welcome ceremony out in the street where it was flat and Mr. Hightower could participate easily.

After devotions, a welcome from our affiliate and Lowe’s friends, safety lessons and demonstrations, it was finally time to start having fun hammering!

Our five team captains were given three or four volunteers each. Companionship, teamwork and building had begun. At times I felt like a chicken with her head cut off! I was running here and there helping people, getting water, etc. By 10 a.m., the first wall was raised and a much-needed break was taken. To everyone’s surprise and delight hot, yummy monkey bread arrived! We all devoured it. If you haven’t tried monkey bread, you have missed a sweet treat.

It was tough to get our volunteers to take a break and it wasn’t long before we were busy hammering and nailing the other three walls. By now, most had learned how to nail straight and I think everyone had learned how to remove nails. As the day wore on, the sun shone brighter, the day got hotter, but the teamwork continued. One volunteer presented us with ice pops. Most ate two or three to try and cool off. I never heard one person complain about the heat. Everyone was having such a good time.

A local Pizza Hut store had called and offered to donate pizzas for the build. When they arrived everyone was so busy framing, we waited until almost 12:30 to eat. We just had to get that last wall up. After lunch and a quick wrap-up of the day’s events we all headed home.

Thirty-two people had participated in our National Women Build. I think everyone had a great experience. Many are planning to come back next week and hopefully, will continue many weeks and days after that. Thanks to our local newspapers, The Brunswick News and The Georgia Times Union – plus the area radio stations – the community got the Habitat message and felt the Habitat call.

At the end of the build, I heard so many ladies say, “I had fun. I have always wanted to come and I’m glad I did.” I think everyone will sleep soundly tonight knowing that they worked hard and are happy because they got involved and made a difference today. Many thanks to all you ladies – and a few men, too!

Margie Young is the Women Build coordinator and Volunteer Construction coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of Glynn County (Ga.).