Last year, COVID-19 stopped the hammer and power tools of Adams County for humanity, but on Thursday the organization was able to revive its annual tradition of “blitz-building”.
About 20 people worked to build a two-story single-family home on Marie Lane in Biglerville, said Habitat volunteer coordinator Bob “Coach” Remelly.
“It was very good to be back to that” after the last completion of the house in early 2019, Remali said.
Habitat’s usual practice is to conduct one blitz construction annually, with volunteers working a total of six days over two weeks to complete the walls and roof, he said.
After that, volunteers work every Saturday morning for about seven months to decorate the interior, except for plumbing and electrical wiring, which is installed by licensed professionals, Remali said.
Over the years, Habitat has built about 40 homes in Adams, he said, with types of designs, including townhouses, that vary depending on the specific requirements of each facility.
Remali said homeowners apply to Habitat and are selected after consideration by a committee of his council. Owners take out interest-free mortgages, and income restrictions apply to the program, he said.
Remali said owners are also required to contribute a few hours “on hand” while working in residences and organizing volunteer work for others on their behalf.
“We are counting on volunteers, and it is very important that they know that we thank them,” Remali said.
The Biglerville House is to become the home of Helaine and Mitchell Thomas.
On Thursday, Helen and many family members worked hard on the spot.
“It was so amazing to see how the walls came to be, because the house’s plans actually came to life,” Helaina said.
“We went from a simple foundation to four walls with decorated rooms downstairs,” she said.
She took pictures with her phone to show the results of the day for Mitchell, a member of the U.S. Army National Guard who was trained in Louisiana.
According to her, the couple met in sixth grade, shortly after Helaine’s family came to Biglerville, where Mitchell has always lived. According to her, he made the offer when he joined the army.
Mitchell and other volunteers worked last weekend to assemble the walls that volunteers erected and fixed on Saturday as an old-fashioned “barn erection,” Helaine said.
“It was‘ amazing ’to see that your community really supports your back,” she said.
The presence of many family members was the reason the couple chose Biglerville as their home, Helaine said.
“It is definitely a real blessing and an honor to be elected to Habitat,” she said. “It’s really a dream come true.”