Construction crew
Rotarian home builders take a break

Rotarians in the Community . . .
Community 'sweat equity' sparks Habitat housing in Putnam

August 27, 2011

The local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity had been organized in a Putnam living room in 1988, and its first office was on Teays Valley Road. But the last house built by Habitat in the area was completed almost seven years ago.

Eighteen houses have been built in Putnam compared to 121 in Kanawha. Allowing for the differences in population numbers, "we have underserved Putnam County by ten houses," Director Shawn Means told Putnam Rotarians six weeks ago.

"We know there is a need," he said. "We see the statistics from the Department of Human Services. We know there are folks with a very low income living here. We know there is substandard housing.

"We are committed to building ten additional houses in Putnam by 2016," he said. "After that, our long range vision is to make sure that twenty percent of the families served are within Putnam County."

Rotarian Elaine Rader stepped forward to join a Habitat advisory group to locate land, and corporate donors, and sign up volunteers.

And today Putnam Rotarians joined with Generation Putnam and other volunteers to roll up their sleeves and contribute the "sweat equity" needed to tackle the problem.

"We worked on the Putnam project from about eight in the morning until three in the afternoon," club president Robert Keely reported.

"We had three major tasks. First, to stain the deck rails, stairs and decking; then to scrape and paint all four sides of the foundation and, third, to dig a footer for the back stairs steps."

The work crew included Rotarians Glen Gibbs, Bob Keely, Tina McComas, Elaine Rader, Denise Springer, Linda Tennant and Dave Williams.

Generation Putnam was represented by Brian Moore and Sarah Sturgill.

Other volunteers included Chuck Dansfield

And also working on the Putnam project were Tiny, Al and Terry -- the Habitat supervisor, a Habitat helper, and the prospective future home owner, respectively.

Putnam Rotary bought lunch and Habitat furnished water and donuts.

"This is the beginning," said Bob Keely. "We need volunteers for nine more homes in the next five years," he said.

The Putnam club headed a Habitat project on Rocky Step Road in 2000, and the work today follows a call by club members for more "hands on" service.

Rotary President Bob Keely recognized Elaine Rader (Aetna) (left) and Denise Springer (Randolph Engineering) for their Habitat work, Rader for "painting the same cinder block for five hours," and a special certificate for Springer:" "Never Before, since records have been kept Has one person gotten so much paint on them And so little paint on the house." (See photos.) Also recognized was Dave Williams (not pictured) for his paint drying faster for "all the hot air." Keely commented, "As you can see it was a great time making a difference with our work, but full of teasing and laughing."
For photos, click HERE!
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