Habitat’s newest home taking shape

Published 10:14 pm Thursday, March 17, 2011

The walls of Teresa Simmons’ new house went up without a hitch on Thursday morning.

Simmons is the benefactor of the Habitat for Humanity Build Blitz under way through Saturday. And even though many of the first-time volunteers found themselves challenged with heavy construction, they found the work rewarding.

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“I’ve been out here since 7:30 a.m.,” said Lawson Barrett, a 19-year-old Troy University finance major. “We’re already ahead of schedule and it feels great. It’s great to be able to help out and to help this family. It’s truly a blessing that all these people are out here to make something like this happen.”

Rebecca Conway, a 19-year-old student, offered another perspective. “This community here in Brundidge gives so much to the university and I think that this is the least I can do to give back to them, to help a family in need,” Conway said. “I am a very compassionate person and Habitat for Humanity is an organization that has been very close to my heart both at home and when I came to Troy for school. Just to be able to give back to people in need is something that makes me feel blessed, especially because I am in a position to do it. This is something that I feel I should do if I am able to, and I am able to and I love it.”

Not having any previous experience in construction was something Conway said she wasn’t too worried about.

“Even if you don’t know what to do, it’s OK,” Conway said. “I barely know how to pick up a hammer, but there is something here for me to do. They make me feel welcome and no experience is necessary.”

Conway said she has always been involved with Habitat for Humanity, only in a different capacity, doing fundraising events for the organization through her church back home.

“I’m pretty excited to see where this goes and I hope to stay more involved now that I’m in Troy,” Conway said. “I love it and enjoy seeing everybody coming together for a good cause.”

Tim Bradley, a youth minister intern with Pinckard Baptist Church, brought volunteers of his very own to the worksite.

“I’m happy to be a part of a youth ministry where the youth has chosen to give up a day of their Spring Break to come out and be a blessing to somebody else,” Bradley said. “Doing this is a definite blessing and we’re always happy to help wherever we can.”

Teretha Simmons arrived early in the morning to help build the house she and her children soon will call home, and she was excited to see the progress being made. “It makes me feel great,” Simmons said. “I’m just so happy and don’t really know what to say except that I’m so happy and excited about it.”

When she received the call that she had been chosen as the recipient of a new house through Habitat for Humanity, Simmons said she thought the person on the other end of the phone line was joking.

“I was driving at the time I received the call and stopped my truck right there in the middle of the road and felt like I just wanted to cry,” Simmons said. “I just felt so overjoyed.”

Simmons said she would drive to the lot just to look at the foundation and imagine her house atop the concrete slab. “I told my friends that I was going to have my house built in three days,” Simmons said.

If the volunteers continue working at the current rate they’re going, then Simmons’ claim of having her house built in three days’ time will certainly come true.

Cheyenne Thompson, owner and president of Copper T. Electric, Inc., said she and her company have worked closely with Habitat for Humanity, wiring every Habitat home for electricity for the past five years. “We’ll take about 10 or so volunteers and we’ll start wiring the home,” Thompson said. “There’s not a lot of trades that will get involved with volunteer work, but we like doing it because we like teaching people about the proper wiring of a home.”

Thompson said that by giving volunteers experience about properly wiring a home allows them to become more familiar with the wiring in their own home. “We teach all the volunteers about how to wire a home, we’ve never had a problem and have passed every inspection that they’ve had,” Thompson said.

“We just like doing it.”

The Habitat for Humanity Blitz Build will continue through Saturday and all potential volunteers are highly encouraged to come and join the effort in becoming a blessing for a family in need.