Lending a Hand to Habitat for Humanity

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Woodcraft Crew Enjoys Opportunity To Help Make Progress On House


The Woodcraft volunteer crew takes a well deserved break at the end of the day and gets a group photo taken.

When Woodcraft found out a co-worker’s daughter was having Habitat for Humanity build a house for her, the Parkersburg, West Virginia-based national woodworking retailer decided to lend a hand. Several hands in fact, as a crew of nine employees from corporate headquarters volunteered to spend a day assisting with the building process.

The house being built is for Woodcraft employee Bonnie Bartlett’s daughter, Amber Bartlett, and her four children, three girls and a boy ages 16 months to 16 years old.

“Woodcraft has a long-standing relationship with Habitat for Humanity,” Woodcraft President Jody Garrett said. “We’re proud to be part of the team that’s building the home for Amber.”

Amer Bartlett's Habitat for Humanity house is making great progress.

Habitat for Humanity is a Christian Ministry that believes that all people deserve a simple, decent and affordable place to live. Habitat partners with individuals and families who qualify and are willing to provide ‘sweat equity hours” on their own and others’ houses and who are able to make an affordable monthly payment on a no-interest mortgage loan.

The Woodcraft crew – Andrew Bondi, Ben Bice, George Snyder, Jessica Douglas, Peter Collins, Doug Loyer, Jason Guthrie, Jerry VanCamp and Darin Lawrence – spent the entire day of June 16 on site and completed the internal wall framing, installed all the windows and doors and completed the house wrap. It was a very productive day.

Bonnie was thrilled to find out that a Woodcraft crew was going to spend the day at the Habitat house to help out.

Jerry VanCamp, Jason Guthrie and Darin Lawrence work to put the weather wrap around the house.

 “It’s about helping one another, and I’m so appreciative,” Bonnie said. “This day has been wonderful and has really worked out very well! The Habitat for Humanity people are an excellent group to work with. They started the foundation of the house in February, and it’s amazing how much work has been done. It’s wonderful; everyone helps one another. I always knew that Habitat for Humanity was a worthwhile organization, but when my daughter got involved, I found out how great they really are!”

Amber Bartlett’s house will be House #99 that the Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Ohio Valley has built. When complete, her house will have five bedrooms, two baths, a wraparound porch, laminate flooring and oak trim. It is expected to be finished around the holidays.

Woodcraft Volunteers Enjoy Work Day

(Left) Jerry VanCamp and Jason Guthrie wrap the house. (Right) Peter Collins and Andrew Bondi make U-channels.

“We thought this was a really great opportunity to help out a family in need and even more meaningful that it was for the daughter of a Woodcraft employee,” shared Jerry VanCamp, Vice President of Distribution and Purchasing. “We look forward to helping out in the future.”

Darin Lawrence, Director of Product Development, said, “The hands-on experience left us with a great sense of accomplishment and a good feeling to be able to assist someone in the community. I think we offered them a crew with a skill level higher than usual since we do know and use tools, but it’s not something we are used to doing. It was a great collaborative effort and a very good team-building experience as well.”

Peter Collins and George Snyder work on framing a wall with 2x4s.

Lawrence added, “It was a welcome experience to get away from our desks. A lot of progress was made, and we had fun as well. It was a day out of the office well spent.”

“It was a fantastic time for fellowship and a great sense of accomplishment in seeing how much we could do in a short period of time,” said Peter Collins, Senior Product Manager.

Product Manager Ben Bice commented that it was a good time, he really enjoyed the comradery and it felt good to know the team was helping out the community with its efforts.

Teamwork helped the crew get a great deal of progress made on the house, inside and out.

Habitat Depends on Volunteers

Habitat Construction Manager Ed Bonar emphasized that building a Habitat house greatly depends upon volunteers. “Volunteers are the heart of Habitat for Humanity,” he said. “Without volunteers, we couldn’t achieve the goals that we do. That’s where it’s at.”

Building a house for a Habitat recipient is very rewarding.

“Every time you build a house,” admitted Bonar, “It’s like you gain another family member because you get to know them so well.”

(Left) Ben Bice screws 2x4s together to secure framing. (Right) Crew members securing the ends of a frame.

Habitat Construction Assistant Jerry Cline said he likes the idea that the homeowner gets to see his or her own house being built and has a hand in it. He also likes the opportunity to meet their families. 

“They are with you throughout the build. When the house dedication comes, it’s an emotional day for everyone involved. You know it means a lot to them,” said Cline, “and it means a lot to us as well.”

Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Ohio Valley builds houses in Wood County, West Virginia and Washington County, Ohio and has been an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International since 1990. They have now completed close to 100 homes and have provided housing for over 350 individuals. The group tries to complete five to six houses a year and usually is working on three houses at a time.

The Woodcraft crew completed the interior wall framing as well as installing all windows, doors and the house wrap.

By building houses, Habitat for Humanity empowers people and families by freeing them from physical and mental hardships and placing them on a path of new opportunity and increased confidence and self-reliance.

Woodcraft encourages you to consider becoming a Habitat for Humanity volunteer in your area. There’s a need, it’s for a great cause, and it’s a great experience. Visit https://www.habitat.org to find a Habitat group near you.

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