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Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers for Faith Build

Last Modified: Saturday, September 28, 2013 4:38 PM

Special to the American Press

Habitat for Humanity Calcasieu Area needs volunteers to help make its 2013 Faith Build a reality.

The house build, which will take place Oct. 7-12 and Oct. 14-17 at 1318 Cessford St. in Lake Charles, will be built from scratch by volunteers. Several area churches have already signed up to sponsor or participate, including Church of the King, First Presbyterian, First United Methodist, Moss Bluff United Methodist, Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, University United Methodist Church, St. Luke-Simpson United Methodist and Mount Olive Baptist. Billy Navarre Chevrolet Cadillac is also a sponsor.

But more volunteers are needed.

According to Janeal McCauley, event coordinator, volunteers are needed for each day, but especially on weekdays.

“We need 12-15 volunteers a day to do the work we need to do,” she said. “This is an ideal opportunity for individuals who may be retired or are otherwise available during the day to give back to the community.”

The event will kick off at 8 a.m. Oct. 7 with a groundbreaking celebration and commemoration of World Habitat Day, which is also on that day.

The new homeowner, Katrina Joubert, will be working at the site during the two-week build, along with her family and church friends from Mount Olive Baptist Church.

The single mother said she is “so excited” and ready for the experience.

“My family and church members are ready to go with their paint brushes and hammers,” she said.

According to Lenn Knapp, Calcasieu Habitat’s executive director, new homeowners are required to put in a minimum of 300 hours of “sweat equity” on their home and other Habitat homes.

“Habitat is not a government giveaway program,” he said. “Homeowners are required to pay back to Habitat the fair market value of materials, contract services and cost of land for a 25-year period. Habitat does not charge interest on loans, which makes it affordable for new homeowners. They’re also contributing to the building of future Habitat homes.”

Brian Kingsnorth, construction superintendent, said the first two days of the build will include building walls, putting up roof trusses and installing plywood. After that, volunteers will be doing such tasks as putting in windows and doors and installing siding.

No experience is necessary to volunteer but you have to be 18 or older to do so. All training will be done on site and all tools will be provided, Kingsnorth said.

He said those who volunteer find the experience so rewarding that many want to do it again.

“When you hand the keys over, you know you have changed someone’s life,” Kingsnorth said.

If you can’t volunteer for the build but want to help out, food and drink donations are also welcomed, MCauley said.

The local chapter has built 86 homes and helped put another 34 families into homes since it began in 1992.

For information on volunteering or to make a donation, call Brittany Fruge, volunteer coordinator, at 497-0129.

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