Originally created 07/01/03

Teen board helps with Habitat home



The Augusta Chronicle's Xtreme Teen Board has been working over the summer with on various projects for Habitat for Humanity.

Board members Samantha Kalney, Patrick Johnson, Justine Lewis and Melanie Killingsworth spent one recent Saturday morning working with Habitat. Here's what they had to say:

"When I arrived at the site at 9 a.m., I was practically still asleep in the back seat of my parents' car," said Samantha. "As soon as we all walked in we were greeted and given a tour of the future home for two families. After that, we got right to work upstairs priming the walls.

"Even if all we did was prime the walls, the most rewarding thing was taking a step back and admiring our work and knowing that two more families were closer to being off the streets. That's a great feeling."

Melanie found that the June 21 project was a rewarding experience.

"This project was a little different than the first one," she said. "This time we weren't building a house for a family; we were cleaning up a "temporary" house. The two-story house will be home to two families for a maximum length of a year and a half. They have that time to get on their feet; get a job, save money for a down payment on a house, etc.

"The house hadn't been lived in for quite a while, and it was really run down. All the rooms have to be painted, the linoleum has to be torn up, new pipes and wiring will be needed, etc.

"Patrick, Samantha and I spent the first couple of hours covering a whole room (which will be a bedroom or living room) with primer. Later it will be painted, but we don't know what color it will be yet. Then we went over to what will be the kitchen/dining room and helped finish painting it white."

For Justine, being more involved in this project helped her not only enjoy the experience but feel better about herself and what she was doing.

"When the Teen Board went to volunteer again with Habitat, we worked at a different site," she said. "The house was already built and had been donated by a family. The previous occupant had passed away. The house was being renovated, and our job was to prime and paint two rooms in the second story. There weren't very many volunteers that day, which was good in a way, because we got to help out more. The room that I got to work in will eventually become a dining/living room for the family that moves in. (One family will live upstairs, another downstairs). It had already been primed, so all we had to do was paint it.

"I enjoyed working in this house more because I was able to help out more. It made me feel like I was really making a difference and proud that I was able to help in a house that two families will someday call home."

Stay tuned for more on the Teen Board's experiences with Habitat.

Reach Amy Connell at (706) 823-3223 or amy.connell@augustachronicle.com.