AmeriCorps Building 20 Houses This Week

Hundreds of volunteers plus five days of hard work equals a lot of new homes. On Monday, AmeriCorps members from around the country started a week long a Build-A-Thon in South Mississippi. The goal is to get 20 Habitat for Humanity homes built by Friday.

Wanda Taylor said it felt good to help lift up the first wall to her new home and it felt even better knowing there are so many people pushing for her.

"They are just as happy for me just as much as I am happy for myself to be getting a home," said Taylor. "You ask people to help you. They don't. Even family members but to know that they don't even know me and they took the time out of their life to come help me."

More than 500 AmeriCorp Volunteers are building 20 Habitat Homes in Gulfport this week. Volunteers say having so many helping hands puts the work speed in overdrive.

"When you get this many people together you can do amazing things," said volunteer Sara Teague. "The Gulf Coast definitely needs a lot of people right now, and we're glad we can come out and help."

Volunteers have a big job ahead them over the next few days including framing, roofing, and siding. It's work they're looking forward to.

Volunteer Lindsay Freise said, "I think it's great to see a slab turn into a home. It's an amazing feeling."

"We've got a big empty block and by the end of the week it's going to be a neighborhood," said volunteer Paul Raddant. "It's pretty cool."

AmeriCorp volunteers say the Build-A-thon is about more than building houses. They're building relationships and building a sense of hope for people who need it.

Raddant said, "I think everybody is going to come away the same way. The feeling that you have the opportunity to do something about what you saw and the news and to help people you've never met before. That's awesome."

Habitat For Humanity officials expect all the major work on the houses to be finished by Friday With only a few interior projects left to be done.