On Saturday, August 12, 2017, a total of 15 people volunteered on behalf of the JEO Foundation for Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln. A well-known nonprofit, Habitat for Humanity is an organization dedicated to offering dignity and affordable, safe homes to low-incomes families. An additional 15 people were also there volunteering, either as general Habitat volunteers or volunteer contractors who regularly work with Habitat. (Tom, the contractor running the saw, is 88 years old, and had been volunteering for Habitat for 30+ years!)
Our volunteers showed up expecting to hang drywall, but due to a rain delay the previous weekend, started the day off siding the one-story house in southwest Lincoln. We broke into teams of three to six and started tackling different sections of the house. Most of the siding that was within ground-level was nailed in place with good ol’ hammers. Once we started climbing ladders, a few of our volunteers were granted nail-gun privileges, which significantly sped up our work. By our brief lunch break, we had made enough progress on the siding that teams were moved inside the house to begin hanging drywall.
Over lunch, which was provided by one of Habitat’s lunch partners, part of the family who will eventually live in the house stopped by the site. The kids explored the house, and adults captured photos and videos of their future home.
At the end of what turned out to be a beautiful day (though a little hot when you are standing on a ladder with the sun beating down on you), the collective effort of all the volunteers managed to complete (1) all the siding that didn’t require roof work (because the shingles were too hot and therefore susceptible to damage), (2) drywall hung on all the ceilings on the main floor, and (2) drywall hung on two of the three main-floor bedrooms.
The lead contractor, who was the only paid person on site, indicated he was both surprised and impressed with the day’s progress. He expected us to complete maybe three-fourths of the siding. As simple of a statement it was, he confirmed that JEO’s volunteers made difference for Habitat. Assuming the rest of the house construction goes well, a new family will be able to make that house their home in just a short two months.
In addition to the time and effort of our volunteers, the JEO Foundation also provided a $500 donation (which originally started as a stipend for lunch for the day’s volunteers, until Habitat indicated they could stretch the dollars farther as a monetary donation since they have a few lunch partners). If you would contribute to the JEO Foundation’s charitable giving, please visit https://www.aplos.com/aws/give/JEOFoundation.
P.S. We’re also happy to report that we had no on-site injuries!