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St. Michael Parish Sends Over Two Dozen Youth Volunteers to Charleston

Over two dozen youth volunteers from Chicago’s Saint Michael Parish are in Charleston, West Virginia this week to help Habitat for Humanity homebuyers build their future homes. The volunteer group will be in town until Friday, June 15th. They are staying at the bunk quarters at Bream Presbyterian Church. This is the 21st year that the St. Michael’s youth ministry has organized a mission trip to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam.

21 teens and four adults will be working at Habitat’s Charleston construction site at 847 North Hills Drive. Each day, Habitat’s construction supervisor, Bill “Tiny” Hanshaw, will present the group with several job duties such as landscaping, digging and installing drainage ditches, and moving dirt to fill in a homebuyer’s crawl space foundation. The group will be working from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. each day, and then they’ll have the chance to explore Charleston. Nightly activities for the youth group include local dinners, a movie night and a trip to Cato pool. On Friday, the group plans to attend Live on the Levee before returning to Illinois.

Bill Ward and Rose Koch have been organizing and supervising St. Michael annual mission trip for 21 years. Ward says that it’s a very popular event for their church. “We always try to open this up to new kids, but this year we have about a half-dozen returning volunteers, and many of them are siblings,” says Ward.

Group membersOver the last two decades, St. Michael’s has sent hundreds of volunteers to Charleston to partner with Habitat for Humanity. The theme for this year’s annual trip is “Faith Can Move Mountains.” St. Michael’s youth ministry says its goal is to be the change that they wish to see in the world, and members of the volunteer group say that this is their chance to put their faith into action.

Mai Martino, an annual youth volunteer says, “I’ve been volunteering for four years now. It’s nice to help other people, and I just fell in love with it and have been coming back every year.”

“The work is manual labor. We’re moving dirt. We’re helping build and we’re having fun. It’s fun work,” says first-time volunteer Ryan Bonini. girls group

St. Michael’s youth ministry held a car wash in May to fund their trip. The group raised almost $900 to fund their week in Charleston. Parents and other members of the church also donated money to fund meals and transportation.

City National Bank Continues Its Partnership with Habitat For Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam

City National Bank continues its partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha and Putnam this month as several employees gave up their Saturday to help a Habitat homebuyer build their home. Fourteen team members from City National signed up for a group volunteer build day, and each spent their Saturday working indoors painting a house that is nearly complete. City National employees have made hands-on contributions a regular part of their support, logging dozens of hours at the bustling construction site in Kanawha County.

 “…it just shows their high-level commitment in helping us create a better community.”

“City [National Bank] employees don’t just work in the communities they serve,” Habitat Development Director William Andreas said in a statement about the volunteers. “They are very organized, and when all the employee volunteers show up on a snowy morning it just shows their high-level commitment in helping us create a better community.”

City National became a long-term Habitat partner in 2004 with a $100,000 four-year pledge gift. That money was put towards Habitat’s campaign “Hammering in the Hills.” That campaign helped to build the North Hills Drive Housing Division in Charleston. Upon the fulfillment of that pledge, City National Bank followed up with two additional donations benefiting the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and ongoing construction jobs in Kanawha and Putnam counties.

Recently, City National Bank became a “Thank God It’s Friday Builders Club” (TGIF) sponsor. This type of partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam entitles City National employees that come out to volunteer on a one-day construction project several benefits such as on-site lunch, branded clothing and more.

Over the last two years, City National Bank has also been a major sponsor of Habitat’s largest annual fundraiser, “A Taste of … in Charleston.” Just this year, Craig Stillwell, the Executive Vice President of City National Bank, joined Habitat for Humanity’s Board of Directors.

“This year they even took their support a step further…”

“City National Bank has been a consistent donor to the work we do in the area,” said Shawn Means, Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam’s Executive Director. “This year they even took their support a step further and are coming out twice to help build. We got a major donation from the bank to put towards their second build.”

Currently, City National Bank has scheduled two full-day construction builds for 2018.

About Team Builds

There is no donation required to organize or take part in a Team Build. By participating with Habitat for Humanity for a Team Build, your team will play an important role in helping to break the cycle of poverty, strengthening our community, and building a brighter future for a local family. Your team members and company will also be featured on our website and social media platforms. Read more about Team Build Days here: http://hfhkp.org/team-build

To schedule your team build day, click here to see what dates are available. We schedule and track our volunteers through Volunteer Hub,  guiding you and your group through the process signing up and getting organized. However, if you need assistance setting up your build, contact our Development Coordinator, Susan Keener, at 304-720-0141 ext. 20 or by email at susan@hfhkp.org.

Habitat Teaches Home Builders How to be Safe on the Jobsite

Whether on the roof nailing shingles, using power tools on the ground or painting the inside of a closet, Habitat for Humanity strives to keep its volunteers safe.

Several homebuilders met in Charleston in January at BrickStreet Insurance. They were there for a quarterly meeting of the Home Builders’ Association of West Virginia. The focus: preventing workplace falls. Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam was invited to speak about its exceptional volunteer safety practices, in particular its use of the Horizontal Under-eave Guardrail System known as HUGS: a truss mounted roof top safety guardrail system.

Using volunteer labor can be quite a dilemma when it comes to keeping workers on the work site safe. One of the most dangerous areas of a volunteer work site is a roof. Because of that, Habitat uses HUGS fall prevention railing on all houses it builds.

At the January 18th meeting, Bill “Tiny” Hanshaw, Habitat for Humanity’s construction supervisor, spoke to over 40 homebuilders detailing the HUGS safety guardrails he uses to protect Habitat volunteers. Hanshaw’s presentation focused on the ease of using HUGS guardrails to provide maximum worker safety. As he spoke, he told the home builders that HUGS are a worthy investment.

“Safety is always Habitat’s first priority because we work with volunteers.”

HUGS Railing Safety “We have been using the HUGS system for years now and believe it is great. I couldn’t imagine putting volunteers on a roof without it,” Hanshaw said. He went on to say as a construction supervisor he has always preferred the HUGS system over safety nets and harnesses because HUGS are stable, more reliable and can be reused for years.

Hanshaw told the group that many Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the country prefer the system because it does not interfere with roofing, wall finishing, window, siding or other installations, is compliant with fall protection standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and gives workers the confidence to safely work on roofing projects at Habitat build sites.

Hanshaw ended his presentation by saying that HUGS are great for anyone that builds houses – not just volunteer organizations – who want to provide a safe working environment for everyone. “Instead of requiring special training and fall prevention equipment, HUGS can be put up easily and at a low cost, providing the safest possible work environment.”

Gain Real-World Experience Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity

You can help Habitat for Humanity eliminate substandard housing in your community.

It only takes one day of your time to make a difference for someone that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re a carpenter, an accountant, a school teacher, a student or a CEO — there is a volunteer spot at Habitat for Humanity for you.Volunteer

Do you want to learn some homebuilding basics, but you don’t have any construction experience? No problem. We have an experienced construction supervisor on our Charleston job site to teach you what you need to know to help with the homebuilding process.

Are you a group or a business that is looking for a project you can tackle as a team? We can help! Many people from all walks of life have volunteered as a team to help build Habitat homes. You will work side-by-side with your community to help make someone’s dream of home ownership a reality.

You don’t need any experience. All you need is a willing spirit and a positive attitude.

Volunteer close to home. Our current jobsite is on North Hills Drive in north Charleston.

You can click here to see our current volunteer opportunities – and register online – or call the Volunteer Hotline (304-720-4470) to learn more about how you can get involved with Habitat for Humanity of Kanawha & Putnam. You can also e-mail our volunteer coordinator, Susan Keener, for more information – Susan@hfhkp.org.

Click HERE to make a secure, online financial contribution.