Helping Hands: Hands and heart help Habitat

Published 9:35 pm Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Last Saturday, 24 pairs of hands helped put finishing touches on two of the Pearl River County Habitat for Humanity homes on Haugh Street, while two more under construction homes saw some needed attention.

Members of Habitat, members of the community, a group of volunteers from the Picayune Item and all of the future Habitat homeowners labored to see another American dream come to fruition – the dream of home ownership!

Habitat is an international, non-profit organization which renovates and builds affordable housing that strives to meet the needs of the families that will live in them.

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Those who qualify for a Habitat home are provided with no interest loans, but they also must put in so many hours of “sweat equity” on their home as well as their new neighbors’ homes. Saturday’s crew included all the families that these four Habitat homes will shelter. Volunteers were extremely fortunate to work side by side with the Habitat families.

Leading this past weekend’s build was local business man and member of the Pearl River County Home Builder’s Association, Dennis Collier. Collier gave the morning’s safety speech. He also ran the power tools for obvious safety reasons.

Volunteers were treated to lunch provided by the St. Charles Parish Knights of Columbus. The local KC members grilled hot dogs and hamburgers on site.

Saturday crews are usually provided with lunch and water. The day starts in prayer and ends with hugs and t-shirts. The hugs are courtesy of PRC Habitat’s Executive Director, Donna Fischer. Fischer invites anyone and everyone to come out and “play” with Habitat on Saturdays.

The group is also still in the process of identifying more families for future builds. In addition, they are planning a special “Women’s Build.” Fischer will lead the “Women’s Build” project. She hopes to get local as well as out-of-state construction companies run by women to participate.

Habitat still needs volunteers for Saturday crews from now until the end of the year. Special skills and tools are helpful but not necessary. If you or anyone you know would be interested in volunteering and putting in your “sweat equity” to help this worthwhile cause, please call Habitat at 601-799-4636. You can also visit