McCallie And GPS Participate In Habitat For Humanity "Blitz Build"

Monday, January 26, 2004

For a second straight year, the McCallie and Girls Preparatory School chapters of Habitat for Humanity kicked off their annual project with a day-long "Blitz Build" on Saturday.

The house went from cement foundation in the morning to having raised walls and roof trusses by the end of the work day.

This year’s house, located in the Shepherd Park Community near the Airport, is the seventh McCallie Habitat House built and the sixth in six years.

This will be the fourth consecutive year for GPS to be a part of the project.

Eric Haralson ’65, an alumnus from Knoxville who has been involved with Habitat since 1992, will once again manage the Blitz Build. He has worked on more than 150 homes in the Knoxville area and abroad, and he was the construction manager for Knoxville’s 20/2000, when volunteers completed 20 houses in one week.

Thanks to the oversight of Sumner McCallie, McCallie's Dean of Residential Life, the school’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity is almost completely student-driven, as students are directly involved in the planning, organization, and fund-raising for the project and have been for several years.

"McCallie has no set community service requirement, so it is astounding to me to see the number of boys who step up every year and genuinely want to take on a large role in this project," said Mr. McCallie. "These boys make the phone calls. They organize the student volunteers as well as the fund-raising projects. And GPS’ students are equally involved and equally motivated."

GPS participated in a Women's Build house in the fall, adding a new dimension to their Habitat involvement.

Seniors at GPS raise money for the student-run community service project through senior talk donations, a roses project in February, and an ongoing print cartridge recycling effort.

Senior Carrie Broome, who participated in the fall house-building and will join the spring project, believes helping to build a house gives a sense of power to young women, and that a special part of the experience is in getting to know the home owner for whom the house is being built.

GPS French teacher Mary Kathryn Malone is the senior class' Community Service sponsor.

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