June 30, 2004
The Georgia Tech football team has spent the offseason lifting not just weights, but hammers, nails and paint brushes as part of a Habitat for Humanity home build.
For six Saturdays in May and June, Yellow Jacket players and coaches have worked side by side with the Scott family, for whom the home is being built. Each week, a group of 15-20 team members has worked at the home site in Marietta from 8 a.m. until about 3 p.m., doing everything from framing the house, to roofing and siding, to painting.
“It was a lot of fun, being out there with the guys and working together,” said junior cornerback Reuben Houston, who said he also worked on a Habitat for Humanity build with his high school team at Starr’s Mill High in Peachtree City.
“Once you get out there, you realize that you’re helping somebody who has not been privileged to have a home, and it’s a good feeling,” said Houston. “You’re kind of sheltered from reality in college so it makes you realize that there are others who are less fortunate.”
Representatives of the HomeBanc Mortgage Corp., approached Tech head coach Chan Gailey about working with Habitat for Humanity. Coach Gailey then presented the idea to his football team, and the entire squad voted to undertake the project.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to give back,” said Gailey. “We’re all very blessed, so it’s important that we try to give back and help others.”
The project has also been an exercise in team-building for the Yellow Jackets.
“There’s a lot of team work that goes into building a house,” said Houston, who worked on installing siding on the home.
Some players were more at home on the construction site than others, such as Building Construction major Nate Curry, who has interned the last two summers with Turner Construction, and placekicker Travis Bell, who has worked summers with his father, a roofing contractor.
The home is expected to be dedicated some time next month.
Habitat has built more than 150,000 houses around the world, providing more than 750,000 people in more than 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter. The organization was founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller along with his wife Linda.
Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner families. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with affordable, no-interest loans. In addition to a down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, Habitat homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.