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Over 300 volunteer for Habitat for Humanity's Build-a-Thon

    Habitat for Humanity of Bulloch County completed its first-ever Build-a-Thon this past weekend with a record number of volunteers.
    “I am just amazed at what so many willing volunteers can accomplish in such a short time,” said Vicki Davis, executive director of the affiliate.
    “It’s a real blessing,” said Alma Smith, future homeowner.
    “On behalf of the Smith-Moore family, thank you to everyone,” said her granddaughter, Michell Moore, who will co-own the house. Three generations, including Smith’s daughter, Maretta Moore, will live in the home.
    The house was begun with a slab and “piles of lumber” Friday morning at 8 a.m. By Saturday at 6 p.m. the participants celebrated a house with roofing paper on the roof, walls partially sided, windows and doors installed and the front porch built.
    The house is about one-third finished, something that normally takes about six weeks of a Saturday-only building schedule.
    The Build-a-Thon was conceived as an event to get the community involved in both funding a Habitat house and starting its construction. While most Habitat houses are funded by a single sponsor or group of sponsors, the funds for the Build-a-Thon house, Habitat’s 34th in Bulloch County, came from a wide range of businesses, individuals, schools, churches and student groups. Community teams were asked to set a goal of raising $1000 each, and student teams $500 each.
    Those fundraising teams then worked a four-hour shift on construction of the house, with more than 300 volunteers signing in to work over the two-day period.
    Participants included 26 community teams and seven student teams.
    Many of the groups who participated are now planning construction work days for their business or church, to help complete the Build-a-Thon house and two other houses currently in progress.
    Financially, the Build-a-Thon is near its minimum goal of $30,000. Just over $27,000 has been received so far.
    While the community has been supportive, the construction industry has also made major contributions to the Build-a-Thon. Committee Co-chairs Jeff Edwards of Howard Lumber & Hardware and Floyd Futch of Southern Voice & Data called on their many contacts to help with donations of materials and labor. Donations and pledges have included site prep, concrete block, fill dirt, installation of plumbing lines, concrete for the slab, siding, shingles, and framing labor and installation of shingles.
    During the Build-a-Thon celebration Saturday evening, the affiliate recognized a few groups for achieving milestones during the event.
    They included JD Dunn and the Southeast Bulloch High School team, the first community team to raise their contribution; Beta Alpha Psi, the first student team to turn in money; the Campus Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, which sponsored two teams; and Omega Phi Alpha, the student team which raised the most money by the time of the event.
    “We’re still tallying up everyone who helped, and will publicly thank everyone soon,” said Davis.
    For information, call Habitat at (912) 489-2076, or see the website at www.habitatbulloch.org.

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