DeWalt Donates Tools For Habitat Building Blitz

BILOXI (WLOX) -- As you know, Habitat for Humanity has pledged to create affordable housing for south Mississippi hurricane victims. Next month, former President Jimmy Carter and thousands of his friends will make that pledge come true.

When they get here, they'll get a helping hand from the DeWalt Industrial Tool Company.

"Hopefully we can continue this right through until the gulf coast is completely rebuilt," said Joff Clarke. He's the area manager for DeWalt.

During a ceremony to formally hand the tools over to Habitat for Humanity, Clarke shook hands with Habitat's CEO Barbara Levine.

"Oh it's wonderful. I'm not sure we can get this done without them," she said.

Since the hurricane, DeWalt has donated about $120,000 in tools to Habitat. The gifts for the Habitat building initiative cost $20,000.

"We're all from the coast. And we want to see it rebuilt as quickly as possible," Clarke said. "So, the donations that we put forth are for that very reason."

The DeWalt power tools will be put to use by Habitat for Humanity when the Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter Work Project comes to south Mississippi. Starting May 11, an estimated 2,000 volunteers from around the world will converge on the gulf coast. In one week, they'll build 20 new homes in Pascagoula, and 10 new homes in Biloxi. They'll also remodel 30 homes in Gulfport. And over at the lighthouse, 48 homes will be framed.

Lee Anderson is Habitat's purchasing manager. He oversees the warehouse where building supplies for the work project are stored.

"The rewarding factor will come when its all over and we have these new homeowners receiving keys to their new homes," said Anderson.

Bob and Joy Daughtery are part of the pre-building team at the Habitat warehouse. Joy said preparing for the building blitz is "incredible. And it's exciting." For seven years, the Florida couple has followed the former president around the world to participate in the annual building blitz.

"We're still here, still doing it, because it's incredible to watch it happen, it's incredible and exciting to be part of that, and see it happen," Mrs. Daughtery said.

The Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter Work Project is May 11th through the 16th. Habitat homes will be built in Biloxi, Pascagoula, Diamondhead, New Orleans and Mobile. The goal is to get 250 homes out of the ground that week.