A group of volunteers from Hot Springs, Arkansas combined their love of recreational vehicles with their passion for building as they helped to make Habitat for Humanity’s fourth home in Eastpoint a dream come true.
The group came down between March 10 and 17, and in addition to arriving with skills and muscle, left behind a check for $2,500 to support Habitat’s future work in Franklin County.
Mason Bean, a member of the Habitat board who worked closely with these Habitat volunteers from Garland County said the group came in an RV caravan and stayed at Ho Hum RV park, and then throughout the week, helped with wiring, insulation, sheetrock and cleanup.
Mary Christians, a Hot Springs, Arkansas realtor, and her husband, Bob, a builder for 35 years and a member of the Garland County Habitat board, were among the crew’s leaders.
“We are an older group, in our mid-to-late 50's and 60's, so don't expect a bunch of youngins,” Mary Christians wrote Bean in advance of their trip.
“But we work hard, put in a full day and are experienced in several phases of the building process. Over the years we have raised walls, sided, roofed, painted, built staircases, etc.,” she wrote. In Biloxi Mississippi, we worked on house that were up on stilts. None of us were crazy about that, but we did it. Are you building on slabs or up on stilts?”
“Last year in San Antonio, we spent one day laying sod, two days siding, and one day painting trim and raising already built walls,” wrote Mary Christians. “There is little we won't try, but my husband says to tell you we can't put up roof trusses. We're too old for that.”
Also part of the Arkansas contingent were Craig and Leslie Johnson, Roger and Char Feldt, Duane and Launa Kraase, Bob and Dianne McCabe, Al and Ardy Ness, Steve and Mary Seitz, John Symons and EJ Pangle, Jim and Barb Mika, Ed and JoAnne Thielbar, Tom and Neala Gunderson, Betty Bolte, and Steve and Jean Fetcko.
Bean said the Arkansas volunteers were a special group of volunteers. “They were very impressed with our dedication plus how much we appreciated their support,” he said. “When they go on these blitz builds, there could be lots of volunteers, lost in the masses. This small build was very special to them, they really enjoyed being here, thus this contribution.”
Active over the last decade, this is Habitat’s fourth house in the county. “We have to raise at least $50,000 before we can start our fifth build,” said Bean. “We are getting close to finishing our fourth home, which is going to be a very cute. I think the neighborhood will be proud.
“We continue to work every Saturday,” he said. “We need volunteers to finish our fourth home, and financial donations toward our fifth home for another Franklin County family!”