Building Homes, Rebuilding Lives: First Data's 'Blitz Build' Home Dedicated

Building Homes, Rebuilding Lives
First Data's 'Blitz Build' Home Dedicated
by William L. Bulla

Last week, a group of Habitat for Humanity volunteers gathered for the dedication of a home. This has been done many times in Washington County, but this dedication was a bit different. The program format was the same as other dedications. The feeling of joy for the accomplishment of the project was the same. The excitement of placing a family in a new home was there. But another feeling never experienced before in one of the Washington County homes was also present. Perhaps it could best be described as nostalgia. This home was one of the two Blitz Build homes erected in only three days. The volunteers, men and women, came together from all across the United States to make this feat possible. Some of those same volunteers were back for the dedication. They were laughing and talking about the things they had experienced during the build. Some were seen dabbing at tears in their eyes as they recounted the experience. It is amazing how they came together, perfect strangers, build two homes, and created a bond of friendship that will last forever. But that's what Habitat is all about. People joining together to work for the common good. People giving of their time and other assets to help families have safe affordable housing.
Being involved with Habitat is a life-changing experience for many people. There are first-time volunteers, working alongside those with many hours on Habitat builds. They all get caught up in the excitement of the event and the dedication of those veterans.
Many are unskilled, but they work with, and learn from, the skilled volunteers who are dedicated to helping with Habitat's construction projects. Some volunteers find that they are not destined to be builders, so they volunteer in many other ways. Habitat needs volunteers to help with the office work. You can be volunteer coordinators or write letters, articles and grants. Whatever one's interests or abilities may be, Habitat needs you!
But homes require more than just volunteers willing to build. The homes require sponsors. It takes money to build them. This home, located at 246 Merrbaugh Drive (formerly known as Vickie Drive) was sponsored through a grant from First Data Western Union Foundation to the sum of $65,000. It is the largest corporate sponsorship received to date by the Habitat for Humanity of Washington County. In addition to this generous contribution, nearly 200 First Data Merchant Services' employees volunteered to work on the house their company was sponsoring. The house was under roof, covered with vinyl siding, doors and windows were installed, rough electrical work, plumbing and heating installed, and wallboard hung on the interior during the Blitz. Many of these volunteers continued to donate hours to complete the interior of the home.
If you, or your company, are interested in becoming a sponsor, or in helping to sponsor a home, please call Sherry Brown Cooper, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Washington County at 301-791-9009.