PELL CITY – It’s called a helping hand, giving back to the community and using your youth and strength to help a family.
“This is the third one we’ve been a part of,” said Pell City High School Panthers Head Football Coach Brooks Dampeer. “We probably have about 25 kids out here today.”
Panther football players were helping lift and install exterior and interior walls to a new Pell City Area Habitat for Humanity home in Pell City.
“One, two, three lift,” one player said as a group of six players picked up the wooden framed wall and eased their way to the interior floor of the home.
The sound of nail guns puntured the air as workers tapped nails in place to secure the walls as players positioned partitions along the outside edge of the wooden floor.
“Hey, bring that ladder over here,” said one volunteer.
Dampeer said his players came straight from the practice field to the Habitat for Humanity home.
“This is a way to give back to the community,” he said.
Dampeer said the experience also teaches his players about teamwork and working together as a unit.
“You have to be coachable to build this house,” he said. “It goes hand-in-hand.”
Dampeer said the team’s first fall practice day is Monday.
“We conditioned pretty good,” he said of his football players. “It’s good to see they are getting a little extra exercise today.”
Habitat for Humanity officials said the football players are invaluable in helping build the new home.
“It would take us a crane and several days to do what these boys will do in a day,” said Roy Dye, the treasurer and construction coordinator for the Pell City Area Habitat for Humanity organization. “Us old folks can’t do all this lifting.”
He said before the end of the day, all of the exterior and interior walls would be in place and the structure readied for the roof framing.
Dye said volunteers began construction of the Habitat home in April, but rain kept slowing the progress.
“In July we really got going,” he said.
John Rickards, president of Pell City Area Habitat for Humanity, said this is the 12th home the local non-profit organization has built.
He said their service area includes the areas served by the Pell City school system.
Rickards has been involved with Habitat for Humanity for more than 20 years, and he has been a member of the local group for about six years.
“I think it’s a wonderful cause,” he said.
Habitat for Humanity helps families get into new, affordable housing. The prospective owners work side-by-side with volunteers to build their new home.
“They get to see how their house is built,” Rickards said, adding that the new owners provide about 500 hours of work, which is considered a down payment on their home.
Volunteers said it is a community effort to build a habitat home.
Goodgame Company of Pell City provided a carpenter and one helper to nail down the wall framing of the house.
Vulcan Industries employees were at the site last week, helping install the flooring.
Organizers said Metro Bank employees may also provide a work day.
Rickards said some of the work is contracted out, like the plumbing and roofing.
He said the organization has local electricians who volunteer their expertise for habitat projects.
Rickards said they hope to finish the home soon.
“We’re hoping to complete it by October,” he said. “But keep in mind, we depend on volunteers.”
For more information about the Pell City Area Habitat for Humanity or to volunteer with the organization, call 205-338-9855.
Contact David Atchison at firstname.lastname@example.org.