Volunteers help at a Habitat for Humanity home

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Skilled Construction, Carpentry Volunteers Needed for Sept. 24 Habitat Repair Blitz

If you’re skilled in carpentry and general construction, Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg is asking you to volunteer as a Team Leader for its Home Repair Blitz on Sept. 24.

On that day, Team Leaders and volunteers will work side by side in the Newmarket Creek area on the city line of Newport News and Hampton to assist veterans and low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners with repairs to the exterior of their homes. Grants from Lowe’s will help fund the repairs as part of a partnership with Habitat for Humanity, which includes a donation of $2.5 million to support 100 local Habitat organizations undertaking home repair projects across the nation.

The day typically begins at 8:30 a.m. and continues until mid-afternoon. In the event of rain, the Repair Blitz will be held on Oct. 1.

“We’re in dire need of community-minded businesses and individuals who have proficiency in carpentry and construction to serve as Team Leaders so that we can ensure more homeowners have a safe and decent place to live,” said Janet V. Green, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg. “The reward is immediate when you see the faces of these residents who are overwhelmingly grateful to receive help that will allow them to continue living safely in their homes.”

Each Team Leader adopts one house and oversees the scope of the work and volunteers of that home, completing everything in a single day. In addition to working the full day of the Home Repair Blitz, Team Leaders commit five to six hours of prep time beforehand and should aim to be available during the rain date.

Home repairs will include:

  • Exterior carpentry (replacing hand rails, porches, stairs, ramps, etc.)
  • House and siding painting
  • Minor repairs to steps, gutters, fencing
  • Safety-related improvements
  • Removal of yard debris and cleanup

Paul Criner, Vice President of Criner Remodeling in Newport News, has served as a Team Leader multiple times and has signed up to do so again.

“If you’re someone in the trades or construction in general, it’s very easy to turn the skill you’ve developed over the years into a tool to help the community,” Criner said. “There’s certainly a reward just inherent with that. It feels great to be out there meeting people and talking to them while helping them through a tough time. At the end of the day, they have a more livable and enjoyable home.”

Additionally, Criner added, sharing the news of your company’s involvement on your website and social channels raises your business profile and can create future business opportunities.

In addition to Team Leaders, Habitat needs individual volunteers, also. All skill levels are welcome; no experience necessary. Groups of friends, co-workers or peers at an organization are encouraged to volunteer together.

Since 2010, more than 250 homes in Hampton Roads have been improved through the Home Repair Blitz program. Anyone interested in serving as a Team Leader is asked to attend orientation on Thursday, Aug. 11 at 6 p.m. at the Habitat for Humanity office at 11011 Warwick Blvd. in Newport News. For questions or additional information, call Mimi Mitchell, Community & Faith Engagement Director at Habitat, at 757-913-5652. You can also email mimi@habitatpgw.org.

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We help as many families as we can, but the lack of decent and affordable housing remains a critical problem in our area. By donating, you will provide upfront funding for building materials and services that makes interest-free loans to Habitat partner families possible. Habitat partner families help to build their own homes - alongside volunteers - and pay an affordable mortgage. Your monetary donations enable us to continue building strength, stability and independence for future local families.