September 21, 2001

Volunteers needed for Habitat for Humanity house

Featured Image

Volunteers are needed again this year for the VUMC-sponsored Habitat for Humanity house. Last year, medical students Andrew Zwyghuizen and Lisa Andrews were among the many volunteers who helped build the house. (photo by Dana Johnson)

Volunteers needed for Habitat for Humanity house

Mary Jones has a dream, and she’s asking for your help. She’s asking that you give one Saturday or Sunday, pick up a hammer or some other tool, and help build her dream.

Jones, 49, and her 16-year-old twins, Clarissa and Christopher, will be this year’s recipient of the Habitat House sponsored by Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The build will take place the last weekend of October and the first three weekends of November. At least 25 volunteers are needed for each of the eight build days. This is the second year VUMC has sponsored a Habitat for Humanity House.

Jones is a manager at Gateway Grill and currently rents a home on Buena Vista Pike. The home is in poor condition. Habitat recipients must be lower income individuals who qualify.

“I’ve talked with Mrs. Jones, and she is so excited,” said Charlotte Rogers, director for the VUMC project. “Even if you think you have no skills, please come and help – you’ll find that you have lots of skills you never knew you had by the end of the day.”

Habitat requires all of its home recipients to complete a budgeting and finance class, as well as provide 500 hours in “sweat equity.” Jones has completed all of those requirements.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided for volunteers. VUMC is one of four community organizations that will be starting a house in the Rainwood development. Jones and her family should be able to move into their home by Thanksgiving.

Rainwood is a 70-home planned neighborhood being developed on 17.3 acres just north of Briley Parkway and Brick Church Pike. The development is a joint venture between Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity and Affordable Housing Resources, Inc.

“The partnership allows us to develop a blend of home values with diverse family backgrounds and incomes,” said Charlie Crowe, executive director of the Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity. “It also allows us to build an entire neighborhood. We’re very excited at the opportunity to play a key role in Mayor Bill Purcell’s affordable housing initiative.”

VUMC volunteers are encouraged to sign up their spouse or partner and friends. No one under 16 is allowed on the build site due to safety concerns.

“It’s a great time,” said Susie Lyons, co-coordinator of the volunteers. “We’ll be able to have this family in their new home before the holidays. There is plenty to do, and it’s amazing to see how fast the house goes up.”

The workday begins promptly at 7 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.

Volunteers can pick the day they wish to work and must agree to work the entire day. A volunteer information and release form must be filled out prior to the workday.

To volunteer to help Mary Jones’ dream come true, call one of the following individuals:

School of Nursing – Debbie Hill, 322-3368

School of Medicine – Susie Lyons, 343-8349

Vanderbilt University Hospital – Connie Harrison, 343-5934

Vanderbilt Clinic – Layle Kenyon, 936-2272

Medical Center Other – Susie Lyons, 343-8349