The man in the window of a Habitat for Humanity house under construction was Matt Ruebl. The University of Wisconsin senior felt the best way to spend the remaining days of winter break would be to stand on a ladder and hammer nails in chilly Biloxi.
"It's remarkable all the progress that's being made in just a couple of days," he commented. "We have all these people working together. And it's amazing how much we could get done."
Three of the nine Habitat for Humanity homes being built on the Biloxi corner were going up simultaneously. Wisconsin and Maryland were both represented at the Esters Boulevard construction site.
So was Waukegan, Illinois. Ann McPhee and her husband are Habitat volunteers from the town northwest of Chicago.
"It's really heartwarming to know that people are coming from all over the country to help," Mrs. McPhee said.
The most heartwarming sight around the construction zone was an ageless man and his trusty tape measure. Moses Beachy came down from Indiana.
"Yes, I'm 81 years old," he smiled.
Beachy doesn't move as fast as he once did on volunteer projects like this.
"My bones are getting a bit stiff," he laughed. "It's a little harder to get around and jump off places."
By simply being part of this Habitat project, Beachy inspired others to work a little harder. Rachel Borucki is a University of Wisconsin freshman. She worked on the same house Mr. Beachy worked on.
"It makes me feel great inside," she said, referring to the volunteer effort.
The Habitat for Humanity project will eventually help nine Biloxi families who lost their homes during Hurricane Katrina. That's why Boruki joined a church youth group on this rebuilding mission.
"I love just being able to make a difference. It's a great thing," she said.
In Biloxi, Habitat for Humanity is building nine homes on Esters Boulevard, and two more homes on Bellman Street.