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Greetings from sunny Pensacola, FL! The 2011 AmeriCorps Build-A-Thon is well under way! This year is the first time Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps are meeting in 8 different locations over a 3 week period to help over 80 families in North America through new home construction and rehabs. This week, approximately 60 Habitat AmeriCorps members from the southeast region of the country are working with the Pensacola affiliate to construct 3 new homes for local families. The 3 homes are just the beginning of 240 homes Pensacola Habitat has promised to build over the next two years! Bay Area Habitat’s own Rhia, Nathan and Jackie feel blessed and honored to be a part of it!

Arriving late Sunday evening, the AmeriCorps members bonded over dinner and making beds in their dormitory accomodations, graciously provided by the University of West Florida. Monday and Tuesday were long days of building and Community Mapping. Nathan and Jackie raised walls, secured hurricane clips, installed trusses and tar-papered roofs, while Rhia scoped out local schools, hospitals, churches and other “need-to-know” places; The location information compiled by the Family Services crew will be put into a new welcome packet for the future homeowners. The progress they have made in just two days has been incredible! It has been wonderful for them to work with other Habitat AmeriCorps members, get to know their styles and the best (and not so successful) practices of their affiliates.

Fun Fact: Nathan and Jackie have been working under two Pensacola Crew Leaders who are Habitat homeowners turned full-time Habitat employees!! Way to go Rich and Cal! Y’all are awesome!

Each night on the UWF campus, HFH International and AmeriCorps team members have prepared fun activities for all of the “worker bees”. Monday night was karaoke and board games. Tuesday, baseball and wings!

Wednesday is a much needed day off! No work, all play! Members will enjoy an agile and aerodynamic performance of the Blue Angels in the morning, and spend the rest of the day soaking up the Florida sun on the beach.

We will continue to keep you updated on Jackie, Rhia and Nathan’s Build-A-Thon adventure throughout the week!

Please keep them in your prayers as they work to help fulfill the mission of Habitat for Humanity that have learned to love. Please pray that they are safe in their work, travel and play.

Thank you and God Bless!