November 10, 2000

Hopes built with hammers and nails

Featured Image

Andrew Zwyghuizen and Lisa Andrews, both second year medical students, cut closet rods before installation in front of the VUMC sponsored Habitat for Humanity house built for Judy Huey. Volunteers worked every weekend in October to build the house. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Hopes built with hammers and nails

Over 250 Vanderbilt University Medical Center employees joined together in October to help build a future for Judy Huey and her family.

Huey is the receiptant of the VUMC Habitat for Humanity house, which was built over four weekends and 240 work hours. Her new home is one of eight on Old Matthews Road and is a shinning example of the volunteer effort provided by VUMC employees. She has three children: Mitchell, 8; Decorian, 6; and Mary, 2. Huey, who worked for Central Parking at Meharry, was recently hired at the Vanderbilt Pharmacy.

“We received a fantastic response from our employees,” said Bryan Brand, co-director of the Vanderbilt Habitat build. “We are very proud of the Vandy employees. For them to give their time, especially when everyone is so busy these days, shows the value of this project. I think it’s a great example of Vanderbilt reaching out to the community and giving something back.”

Ken Browning echoed Brand’s comments.

“We had a great turnout from a volunteer perspective,” said Browning, who served as one of the construction crew chiefs. “The first weekend we completed the flooring, walls, windows, doors and roof to include shingles. Not bad for two days work.”

Volunteers did everything from landscaping, construction work, preparing and serving food, providing safety oversight, and transportation. They also learned the value of teamwork.

“It was a lot of hard work,” Brand said. “I can’t thank the volunteers enough for their support for this important project.”

Brand said participation from the School of Nursing and the Medical School was particularly high.

In addition to the large number of volunteers, VUMC contributed $45,000 towards the building of the house. Recipients of Habitat homes must work a total of 500 hours on their own home and other Habitat projects. The value of the volunteer labor has been estimated by Habitat for Humanity to be over $20,000. n