Habitat Humanity Building Blitz ready for work

Published 9:35 pm Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Volunteers will be busy for the next three days building a new home for an eager family.

Starting at 8 a.m. today, the Habitat for Humanity Building Blitz hopes to put volunteers to work building a new home fro the Simmons Family.

Jennings Johnson, vice president of construction for the Troy University chapter of Habitat, said the Blitz Build project is somewhat akin to the Extreme Makeover home edition as seen on television.

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“It’s just like a giant puzzle piece,” Johnson said. “That’s pretty much what’s going to go on. What happens during a blitz build is a group of volunteers will build the outside of the house in three days. The foundation has already been done, so on the first day we’ll pretty much be putting the walls up. Friday, we’ll put insulation in and put the sheet rock up, then on Saturday we’ll put the roof on.”

Johnson said he is excited about today’s project and looks forward to future projects that are in the works.

“The Troy University campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity is in the process of raising money in order to build another house, but there are several houses in the making with the Pike County Habitat group,” he said.

The campus chapter provides a way for students to easily become involved with the volunteer work with the local Habitat for Humanity group.

“We work with the executive director,” Johnson said. “He lays the foundation for us to go out to companies, helping us to get our foot in the door and get money in order to build a house as a campus chapter.”

The Blitz Build project, which will be underway on the corner of 7th Avenue and North Main Street in Brundidge, has been made possible from a donation to Troy-Pike Habitat for Humanity by Brundidge United Methodist Church and will be dedicated as the Ray Helms Memorial Build.

Fred Johnson, Troy-Pike Habitat executive director, said he looks forward to the Blitz Build project.

“We’ll start about 8 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” Fred Johnson said. “We won’t work until dark, but there will still be some of us at the site around dark planning for the next day’s work. We will be there pretty much all day long.”

Early Wednesday morning, Johnson said he had special help in preparing for Thursday’s project.

“The Troy University football team came out and took the rafters off the big truck, unloaded all the plywood and lumber,” Fred Johnson said. “In two hours they did what would’ve taken us at least half a day or perhaps even a whole day. They saved us a tremendous amount of time and they’ve got it spaced out so that all we have to do tomorrow, instead of picking up a wall and taking it somewhere, all we’ve got to do is set it up straight and nail it down.”

Fred Johnson said he believes volunteers should have a big part of the project completed by today and will most likely be able to start putting up vinyl siding on the house Friday.

“I’ve got some heavy work and I’ve got some light work,” Fred Johnson said. “I’ve got something that everybody can do.”

Fred Johnson said there was no way of knowing just how many volunteers will show up today, but he expects a decent turnout.

“I’ve had more people call me this time and contact me about this project in so many different ways,” Fred Johnson said. “I’ve had people stop me on the street to tell me they want to help with the Blitz Build, so I’m looking for a huge turnout.”

Fred Johnson said that no experience is necessary to participate in the Blitz Build, but that you do need to know how to follow simple directions.

“We’re doing one house and, sometime after Easter, we’re planning on doing another one,” Fred Johnson said. “Potential volunteers need to come on out and get their experience now, just in case we don’t get to build after Easter.”