Habitat volunteers raise walls

Published 9:14 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Volunteer workers prepare to raise the walls Saturday on Habitat for Humanity’s latest construction site on South Road.

Volunteer workers prepare to raise the walls Saturday on Habitat for Humanity’s latest construction site on South Road.

In just under a full workday, a slab on South Road transformed into a nearly complete structure, all thanks to work done by volunteer builders providing free labor for Habitat for Humanity.

Residents from Atmore and the surrounding areas gave up their Saturday this weekend to help a local family in need of affordable housing and thanks to their efforts, Debra Smith and her 14-year-old son Dillon will soon be ready to move into their new home.

Alecia Glaize, executive directory for the Escambia County Habitat for Humanity, said Saturday’s progress was a huge step toward completion of the home.

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“We had a good turnout Saturday,” Glaize said. “The day went really well. We had about 50 volunteers to work. The walls were erected and a lot got done.”

Glaize said construction leader Ron Zundale has been overseeing a crew continuing construction on the home throughout the week, but said help from volunteer workers will still be needed in order to complete the project.

“This week Ron and his crew were there and by the time the volunteers get there, I imagine they will see a lot of difference,” Glaize said. “We’re going to have another volunteer workday on Saturday, March 30. We will probably be putting up drywall, HardiePlank, doing caulking and some painting.”

Glaize said those wishing to volunteer are welcome to work throughout the day, but are free to come and go as they need to.

“We will be there from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.,” she said. “People can come all day or just a portion of the day.”

During early construction of the home, Smith, who works as a computer paraprofessional at Rachel Patterson Elementary School, said she and her son have been overwhelmed by the number of people from, not only the Atmore area, but all over the country, who have donated their time and efforts to helping construct her family’s new home.

“It feels like such a blessing that my family will be warm in the winter and cool in the summer,” she said. “It’s such a blessing. I don’t think there’s any words to describe it.”

According to Glaize, the Smiths should be able to begin enjoying their new home early this summer, as construction is scheduled to be completed by mid-May.

Glaize said anyone wishing to work on Habitat’s latest project is asked to pre-register at www.escambiahfh.org.