‘Blitz Build’ offers uplifting experience for volunteers

Published 8:42 pm Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The popular phrase, “If you build it ….” takes on a special meaning for Habitat for Humanity.

For, each house that Habitat builds is a home for a family that would probably not be able to own one without the caring, “uplifting” spirit of Habitat volunteers.

Fred Johnson, AmeriCorps Vista for Troy-Pike Habitat for Humanity, knows the feeling that comes with helping others. He has had the privilege of spearheading the last two Habitat house projects in Brundidge and will be at the helm for the “blitz build” this weekend.

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“I’ve never been happier in my life than I am working with Troy-Pike Habitat for Humanity,” Johnson said. “I’ve always liked to help people, and Habitat has put me in a position to do that. There’s nothing I would rather be doing for any amount of money.”

Johnson said those who volunteer with Habitat share his feelings.

“For our volunteers, it’s a source of pride,” he said. “When Habitat volunteers see me with my Habitat for Humanity shirt on, they’ll come up to tell me about the house they helped build that became home for a deserving family. They remember it forever.”

Around 7 a.m. Friday, May 29, the timbers will be raised on Troy-Pike Habitat for Humanity’s 10th house at 106 Holland Street in Troy off Elm Street.

The house will be for Stacy Fayson and her two children. Fayson is a university student who volunteers at the Colley Senior Complex and has volunteered at the Troy Recreation Center.

“Stacy is very excited about having a home for her and her children, and we are proud to be able to do this for her,” Johnson said.

But a house doesn’t go up by itself, and Johnson said he is depending on a lot of volunteer help for the Blitz Build Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 29, 30 and 31.

“We need volunteers with building experience or no building experience,” Johnson said. “We have need for all kinds of help. If you can follow instructions, you can help. We have light work and heavy work, and we don’t ask anybody to do anything they don’t feel comfortable doing. We even welcome people who just want to sit under the shade tree and ‘go-fer’ things for the workers.”

Johnson said the volunteers will be fed through the generosity of others. Luverne United Methodist Church will have breakfast for the volunteers on Friday and Santa Fe Cattle Company will provide the Friday lunch. The Fayson family will prepare spaghetti and salad for Saturday lunch.

“We’re hoping that somebody will step forward with breakfast on Saturday and Sunday and Sunday lunch,” Johnson said. “It would be fun if we could have an old-fashioned dinner on Sunday where a lot people brought a dish to share. We could have a community lunch, and that would show our volunteers how much they are appreciated.”

But with or without food on the table, the Habitat house will go up this weekend. The finishing work might take several weeks but it won’t be long before the last nail is driven and the Fayson family moves into the home they helped build.

Volunteers may just come to the work site or call Johnson at 372-7578 for more information or to make a donation to the Blitz Build.