Originally created 06/14/06

Aiken takes part in nationwide Habitat blitz



Building a house takes time. That's why some found last week's effort by the Home Builders Association of Aiken County so impressive - constructing a home in 55 hours.

The organization brought together 96 volunteers, from builders to suppliers, to construct a Habitat For Humanity home in 3 days.

"Something very special happened here this week," said Jim Kelly, the president of Habitat's board of directors, when the home was unveiled Friday.

The project was part of Habitat's nationwide Home Builders Blitz, a program that brought together an estimated 1,000 home builders nationwide to construct houses for more than 1,000 people.

"All of you were giving part of yourself and part of your resources back to the community," said Bob Stowell, the executive officer of the home builder's association. "It was a fantastic effort."

The house is the 59th built by the Aiken County Habitat chapter and is home to Betty Harris and her family.

"I just can't explain the thankfulness I have for everyone," she told volunteers. "I just want to say thank you to everybody."

It typically takes Habitat, a Christian ministry that builds housing for the less fortunate, about four months to construct a house, said Richard Church, the executive director of the Aiken County branch.

That includes volunteers working two days per week during that time.

"They (builders) all had their work to do outside of this," Mr. Church said. "It worked just so right."

Reach Josh Gelinas at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110 or josh.gelinas@augustachronicle.com.