Build-a-thon helps put three families in new homes


Two days into the Build-a-thon and 75 AmeriCorps workers have framed not one, not two but three homes in Bay St. Louis. The hope is to complete the shells before Friday.

It's an ambitious goal, but they say they're up for the challenge.

"We really just jump on the gun and go, and we have fun doing it," AmeriCorps Member Ben Dodd said.

Habitat employee Taryn Wharwood is looking forward to finishing these three homes this week.

"I was part of the Build-a-thon last year in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and we did 15 homes in a week. So I know it's something we can do," Wharwood said.

In fact over the past 16 years AmeriCorps members have helped Habitat affiliates across the nation build 12-thousand-500 homes. This build a-thon will increase that number.

"We do it so that the AmeriCorps members can serve together because typically they're all individually out at affiliates across the nation, so we want them to have the opportunity to come together and blitz build houses together," said Rebecca Hines with Habitat International.

Biloxi native Jammie Webb joined the group eight months ago; his decision was inspired by the aftermath of Katrina.

"I felt the need to help people because I was helped, put my house back together," Webb said. "It's something you need to do. You're suppose to, God wants you to help." 

The helping hands will bring three more families victimized by Katrina a step closer to permanent housing.

Last year alone, AmeriCorp members logged more than one million service hours to Habitat Affiliates nation-wide.

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