The Blitz Build was incredible, and we were all coming together to help Jacob Hearn, a little boy with a heart of gold. Here is an excerpt from a local newspaper that summed up the situation and the reason for this blitz build opportunity.
"Jacob had been diagnosed with a rare neuron-migration disorder known as schizencephaly and is confined to a wheelchair. To accommodate Jacob’s needs, Habitat had architectural plans to include wheelchair access and other features that the Farmville affiliate had not incorporated into previous homes. Extra features meant extra expense and finding more funding was not a simple task.Farmville Area Habitat for Humanity (FAHFH) contacted Piedmont Regional Disability Services for assistance and the organization recommended the affiliate for a grant through the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services. The grant, $15,000, through the reimbursement fund, was the right amount necessary to start planning for Jacob’s house.It was stupendous news. Unfortunately, there was a catch. In order for FAHFH to receive these funds, the house had to be completed by May 1, 2009. The impact of a stalled economy on local businesses and contributors had slowed the progress on homes Habitat already had under construction. That meant Habitat had less than two months to build a house for the Hearn family- a house that had not even been started. How could the affiliate possibly gather the manpower needed to accomplish such a feat in a small amount of time? Enter the Habitat Road Trip Crazies!" Source: TSM Newspaper 3/27/2009
So, basically, the Hearn family had the money to make this home right for Jacob, but they had to complete the home in a MAJOR hurry. Tom and his crew (including me) answered the call. Basically, it's hard to describe what goes on in these types of situations, but here are a few keywords that I find helpful: new friendships, lots of hard work, elbow grease, sweat, sunscreen (at least on day two), trying things you've never tried before, courage, determination, love, and that feeling you get when you truly are helping someone - you know, that feeling that you can only get by helping someone else. It's contagious..and thank God for that.
For those of you who are like me, and are visual specimens, here are some pictures from the build. Take a look and you'll see what I mean. Keep in mind that there were actually TWO families touched by the Habitat Roadtrip Crazies that weekend...the second home was already under construction, and the Crazies helped move it right along. (Let's play the new version of Where's Waldo...it's called Where's Chicken Wing. If you look, you'll see a girl in a green T-Shirt with blonde hair pulled back....that would be the Chicken Wing!)
STEP TWO: PUT CONSTRUCTED WALLS UP (MAKES FOR GOOD ROOF SUPPORT).
STEP THREE: SIDING = A GOOD THING.
STEP SIX: HANG OUT WITH THE REASON FOR THE BUILD, THE SMILE THAT ACCOMPANIED THE BUILD AT ALL TIMES, AND THE LITTLE MAN THAT CAUSES YOU TO STEP BACK AND REALLY "GET IT." WE LOVE YOU, JACOB!!!
So, I guess I ought to send a big THANK YOU out to Tom Gerdy and the rest of the Crazies. The fire you've started in me is exactly what I was looking for. When I started this journey, I was looking to help people. In helping people, I fed my soul, and ultimately, it helped me. Life's crazy that way....it all comes full circle, one way or another.
I hope that each of you find something that sets your heart on fire. The feeling is indescribable, unforgettable, and well worth whatever it takes to make it happen. I am now armed with the proper materials (ones that a true Crazy should have)...a fuschia toolbelt and a pink hammer. Don't worry, there will be pictures at some point of that! :)
Good luck finding what you're passionate about!