Mar 03 Habitat for Humanity
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In Memory of 15 ASMC members killed in the Pentagon attack.  9/11/2001

Feb 00 Habitat for Humanity
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Sep 98 Habitat for Humanity


Habitat for Humanity
Community Service Project
March 2003
[Click pictures to enlarge.  Use Back button to return]

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Stevenson Projects
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House #14 (boarded up garage)

     Habitat for Humanity for Northern Virginia is in the process of building 9 homes on Stevenson Street, in Fairfax County.  On 8 March, 2003, the Washington Chapter participated with 6 folks.  The house we were working in has a designation of 14.  Coy took a picture of the workers in “our” house before we started.

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House #14 workers
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Bill Hart cutting insulation to fit small spaces

We were installing insulation.  I was fascinated with the difference in the size of a bundle before and after it was opened.  It just grew and grew when the bag was split open.  We started with the attic and walls of the third floor, then the 1st floor and garage, and then the second floor, where every strip had to be pieced due to the 9-foot ceiling and 8 foot strips.  Actually the insulation on all of the floors needed some cutting and piecing.  Each house had a building professional volunteer “house boss” who showed us what to do, and what to leave alone, and answered questions all day long.  While we were doing the installation, carpenters and electricians were doing other work among us.

We had 6 volunteers:  Bill Hart and Jeanne Valentine from DFAS; Geoffrey Weber and Christine Lavelle from KPMG; me, Clara Weston, from the Army and my husband, Coy Rahman (who only volunteered to take pictures, which is why he is not in any of them).  He ended up doing six hours of cutting and piecing of the non uniform sizes.  Geoff and Chris had the garage ceiling complete, when a friendly house boss from another building noticed that all the insulation was upside down.  By the time Coy took the picture, all the pieces had been turned to the correct side.  In all we contributed about 44 hours of work.

Both other volunteer groups and local churches supplied lunch.  We had some excellent chili, sandwiches, fruit, and sodas from the local Mennonite Church.  There were also chips of all sorts, and even some desserts (one group treated it’s members to cheese cake).  The weather turned kind of nice and we enjoyed being out in the sunshine for lunch as inside the buildings it was still quite cold.

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Lunch. The lady in the bright blue coat made the chili

Before we were done with all the ceilings the R30 insulation ran out.  H4H had to send the van to the local Home Depot for more, which arrived shortly after lunch, so it was possible to complete this phase of the work.

Although everyone was super safety conscious, we had on long sleeves, head covering and used masks and gloves, we still had some fiberglass attached to our necks and faces, etc.  We were told that the only solution is a cold shower.  Hot water opens the pores and the stuff just attaches to the skin more firmly.

I was appalled to find out that recently thieves broke into the trailer where the tools were kept, and completely cleaned out the half of the trailer where the power tools were kept.  None of the hand tools were taken.

Most of the labor and much of the materials are donated, or sold to H4H at a discount.  Even so, the homes we were working on cost and sell to the prospective homeowners for around $135,000.  They buy them with no interest, and have to provide at least 500 hours of their own labor (sweat equity) on their own or other H4H homes being built.  The qualification process is quite intensive as there are many more applicants than homes.  These are 3 bedroom, 3 story townhouses.

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Chris and Geoff of KPLG assessing the work to be done
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5 of the homes in this 18 home project that were completed and dedicated last summer
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Picnic tables and chairs were not provided for lunch
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Jeanne Valentine with her sandwich and chili
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Bill Hart stapling
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Geoff and Chris after the insulation was turned correctly in the garage
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I hammered in the staples that were not flush.  Also placed the strips and opened the flaps and stapled where I could reach without using the sawhorse for a ladder, like the guys were doing.
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Jeanne getting the right size piece of insulation.
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Our house boss answering question.
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With only 2 ladders and 2 sawhorses someone was always using each.
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Electrician re-checking some wiring.
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Jeanne Valentine
(she wouldn’t take off her hat)

This  page last updated:  July 13, 2014
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