What one week can do
Hudson group assists with Rapids Habitat home
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Wisconsin Rapids Area Habitat for Humanity received a helping hand as they completed work on home No. 18 in the city of Wisconsin Rapids.
“During the winter of the 2018-2019 year – months prior to groundbreaking – we were contacted by people from Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in Hudson, WI,” recalled Brenda Walczak of the Habitat Board of Directors. “One of their members grew up in Wisconsin Rapids. With his parents still living in Wisconsin Rapids, this man, currently the owner of his own contracting business in Hudson, contacted our Wisconsin Rapids Area Habitat affiliate. He asked if we would allow them – a group of 20-35 people ranging in age from 14 – 74 – to come to Wisconsin Rapids for one week to perform their annual mission project (and) join up with another Habitat group to build the designated home.
“Their plan was to build the exterior walls in their church parking lot, transport them here, and assemble the exterior walls, once here. All they requested were sleeping quarters, kitchen privileges, and showers. Assumption High School seemed to be the perfect place.”
The Hudson group joined the project, already in progress, during the last week of June. The lot had already been cleared, the basement was poured, and the concrete foundation walls were completed. The structure was ready for the exterior walls that had already been assembled in Hudson.
“Once here, they joined our Habitat volunteers and the new family to continue with building the house,” Walczak explained. “The entire group worked together marvelously. We were all witnessing a miracle. During that week, the exterior walls were put into place, interior walls were built, pre-built roof trusses were hoisted into place and secured, and the roof was capped. Following that, special paper was nailed to the exterior of the house to prepare for future siding, windows were installed, doors were installed, and the casing for the garage door was assembled and installed.”
Local volunteers and family will now complete the project; Habitat policies require the family to perform at least 500 “sweat equity” hours.
“It is a family made up of a single mother with four children ranging in age from 13-23,” Walczak explained. “The immediate family and several members of the extended family – grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins –have been and will continue to be very actively involved in the building process. Upon the home’s completion, keys to the new home will be turned over to the new homeowner. This single mother will then be responsible for a 30-year interest-free mortgage, taxes, and insurance on her very first home.”
Walczak said that the Hudson group has been going through the state for 25 years assisting with projects.
The Wisconsin Rapids Area Habitat for Humanity was formed in 1992 through the initiative of a Chamber of Commerce community leadership class and has been building homes in the area for two decades.
The group will partner with Taco John’s, 610 E. Grand Ave., Wisconsin Rapids, to help raise funds toward Habitat’s mission, July 1-31. Customers that visit the restaurant will be asked to donate.