Habitat Volunteers Build In Diamondhead

DIAMONDHEAD (WLOX) -- By the end of the week, ten Hancock County families will have new homes in Diamondhead thanks to the work of 300 Habitat volunteers from all across America.

Pennsylvania volunteer Chuck Manzi said, "You hear about bad stuff happening all the time, but rarely are you given an opportunity first hand to do something about it. So this trip was really, hey, do something about it."

This is Robin Bortz's fourth trip from Pennsylvania to Hancock County to help Habitat Bay-Waveland build homes.

"We had about 50 people come the first time. We went back and everybody who came said, 'We have to go back. There's still so much to be done.' We had a second trip. After that trip, we said, 'We have to go back there. There is still so much to be done.' After that we thought, we have to go back," Bortz said. "Where else can you work when the people thank you every single day for the work you do?"

Habitat for Humanity's Bay-Waveland chapter is the organization's newest, born out of the need from Katrina. In two and a half years, 69 homes have been completed and another seven are under construction in Waveland.

"That's a big turning point for us. We feel like that's a real milestone. It's still not all we need, but it's a real contribution," said Wendy McDonald, Habitat Bay-Waveland's Executive Director.

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter will honor that accomplishment when they tour the job sites in Diamondhead this Thursday.