Hammering for Habitat

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 23, 2003

As you drive down Pearl Street you can hear the sounds of hammers pounding nails in, see saws slicing through two by fours, and smell the aroma of fresh cut wood.

“We’ve been at it pretty hard since the first of July,” Wayne Hanson, the site supervisor for the Pearl Street Habitat for Humanity house project, said.

Hanson, a retired life insurance salesman, is one of 40 volunteers who are helping with the project.

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“It’s the best job I’ve ever had,” he said. “I get to use power tools and spend someone else’s money.”

Freeborn-Mower Habitat for Humanity was founded 12 years ago. It is a chapter in a nationwide service organization that uses volunteer man power to build houses for low income families.

The Pearl Street house is the 20th house the organization has done locally.

The house is being built for a single mother with two children. To get the house, the owner has to put in 250 sweat equity hours on the house and other Habitat for Humanity houses.

The buy the house, without interest payments, by paying for the cost of the materials.

The volunteer effort is more than just construction.

Bev McMullin, of Albert Lea, who had heard about the project at her church, stopped by Friday to ask when the best time would be to bring the volunteers refreshments.

“I can’t pound nails, but I make lemonade and cookies,” she said.

Hanson said the project wouldn’t work without volunteer help from citizens like McMullin and local organizations such as Rotary International, the Lion’s Club, Home Depot and four local churches.

Hanson said volunteers can show up weekdays between 8 a.m. and noon. To work Saturdays or evenings call 800-300-1349.

(Contact Peter Cox at peter.cox @albertleatribune.com or 379-3439)