Volunteers Build Three Gautier Homes in One Day - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Volunteers Build Three Gautier Homes in One Day

"I got up this morning about 5 o'clock," Schneider employee Deb Westhues said.

"So far, it has been hard work," Schneider employee Lloyd Palmer said. 

Equipped with hard hats, tool belts and hammers, volunteers spent Tuesday morning framing, sawing and nailing. Especially Dave Petratis, President of Schneider Electric, who didn't mind getting his hands dirty for a good cause.

"We could be in another location playing golf, but honestly, we are contributing," Petratis said. "We have 200 people from across North America, our top leadership, here in Gautier to help with the rebuilding effort."

The global company is working along side Habitat for Humanity to help families, like the Andersons of Gautier, finally own a home.

"I am just happy, overwhelmed, full of joy, and full of water from crying," future homeowner  Harriet Anderson said.

As the walls continue to go up on the Anderson Family home, volunteers are also building two other Habitat Homes on Lima Drive - that equals three homes in one day.

"We are doing three homes today because we have the number of people to make it work. Overall, we are going to build seven Habitat Homes," Petratis said.

"To me, at the end, we send a strong message to our leadership that it's important that we participate and give back."

That is why Chicago resident Lloyd Palmer didn't mind traveling from the Windy City to volunteer, even if the work was a bit challenging at times.

"The hardest part is paying attention to what you are doing and not hitting your hand with the hammer," Palmer said. 

"It is awesome to see all this activity go on at once and just to think of the impact it's going to have on three families."

To continue the volunteer work, Schneider Electric is providing $7 million to Habitat for Humanity to help build homes throughout North America.

By Patrice Clark

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