The Ottumwa Courier

October 10, 2013

Central Reformed Church helps Habitat for Humanity

DUANE NOLLEN
Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — Volunteers from the Central Reformed Church gathered in the church parking lot Saturday morning to help a family in need of a new home.

About 50 church members gathered in two shifts in the church parking lot to frame walls for the newest Habitat for Humanity home in Oskaloosa.

"My goodness, thank you for the weather," Central Reformed Church Director of Outreach Andy Baker said as the volunteers gathered first thing Saturday.

"This is awesome that you're doing this in your parking lot," Mahaska County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Valinn McReynolds told the crowd.

"We'll have close to 50 people throughout the day," Baker said. "We're prefabing all the walls for the house."

Baker said later in the month, church members will frame up the home.

Once the volunteers have constructed all the walls, a trucking company will pick them up and transport them to a barn for storage and later use, he said.

Baker said the church's work for Habitat for Humanity fits into its mission.

"We're in the transformation business," he said. "What a great way to transform a life by building a home for someone who can't."

Church members have experience in home construction, Baker said.

"We as a church went down to Kentucky in February of 2013 and framed a house," he said. 

The church youth group also built a home in Guatemala, and later this year, church members will travel to West, Texas, to frame another home that had been damaged in a factory explosion, he said.

The next Habitat for Humanity home will be built at 1004 Mable St., next to a Habitat Home built two years ago, McReynolds said.

"It's going to look like the one we built two years ago," she added.

Habitat for Humanity is currently in the process of naming a partner family for the new home, McReynolds said.

Habitat for Humanity recently did a decorated stud fund-raising event where businesses could decorate a wall stud for $100. More than 70 studs were decorated and they will be placed in the new home, she said.

In the future, there will be a stud-finding contest in the new home for the donors, she said.

Johnny Anderson, of TJA Construction, was the contractor who played foreman at the church Saturday. Anderson is a member of the congregation. 

Anderson said he had three of his workmen oversee the work Saturday. They would cut the wood and do the wall layout, and then oversee the volunteers.

"It's beautiful," he said of the volunteers' efforts. "We'll be done with this shortly."

Anderson said the volunteers will build both interior and exterior walls.

The Rev. Don De Glopper was pleased with his congregation's efforts.

"It's exciting to see people enjoying helping other people," he said.

The volunteers ranged in age from 9 to 80, he added.