Monday, August 31, 2009

Day One Q & A

Jacob Battle

Americus, Ga.

Board Member

What’s your favorite part of a build?

Meeting the people, the volunteers, the homeowners--and being able to work alongside of them. And meeting old friends.

What do you think of when you think of Millard Fuller’s Legacy?

I think of all of the things that Millard accomplished throughout his life. I think we should do everything within our power to make sure that his legacy goes on and on. I think of all the millions of people that are being helped day by day by his vision and his obedience to God. I don’t think we could do too much to keep his dream alive.

What does home mean to you?

A place that is neutral from the everyday rat race. A place where children are able to be given opportunities to develop, to become what God would have them to be. Home is a place where there’s love and security.

Nashua Chantal

Koinonia Farms, Ga.

Volunteer and crafter of the Greater Blessing Box

What’s your favorite part of a build?

It’s about three days into the build where I feel that I’m comfortable, I know where everything is. I’ve met the homeowner and get to talk to them more. And then I’m starting to joke around with folks. And feeling comfortable about what I’m doing.

Because at first, you’re just feeling everybody out. Asking people a lot of questions and when you get all that out of the way you start to become more like family after awhile. The next couple of days in the week that you’re there you just bond. It’s something you can never forget.

What do you think of when you think of Millard Fuller’s Legacy?

I didn’t know much about Millard when I met him, but it didn’t take very long to know Millard because his spirit is openness. He absorbs everything right away and remembers you the first day.

I can just see that this is starting to take off now, the legacy. It’s starting to spread. It’s even spreading into Habitat. Millard started both [Habitat and the Fuller Center]. We’re part of both organizations. And Koinonia, that’s where it all started from. And his what he started is so big.

He always talked about the mustard seed. Everything rests within the branches giving the tree strength. In Millard’s legacy, I think the roots come from Habitat, the trunk from the Fuller Center, the branches are the affiliates, and the leaves of the tree of course are the volunteers that come from everywhere. Every year, just like autumn, they go back home, the leaves fall and then become refreshed as spring comes, and summer comes, and more volunteers come. The tree is just getting flourished with new enthusiasm. That’s what a build creates every year.

With a lot of prayer and dedication, Millard created something so huge that everyone’s taking part, we’re all learning from the legacy. Wherever we go we’re teaching folks how to do it on their own and they’re getting it. And a community starts to develop their own type of build.

What does home mean to you?

It’s a place of comfort and security. If you have children, it’s for their well-being to have something--their own room, being warm in the wintertime and cool in the summertime. If they can bring their friends home to something nice, they can feel proud. I think that helps their self-esteem to continue on their journey.

Otherwise if they didn’t have any of that, that’s where they’d fall into the cracks. Building that home we become part of their family--maybe just in our memories, but we gave them something, and they gave us something to appreciate when we go back to our home.

Monday: The day of wall-raising

Last night was the big Legacy Build Kickoff Celebration. You can read about that here. And find pictures here.

Volunteers showed up by the hundreds, one group had matching bright green T-shirts made. Others were dressed in their Sunday best.

Highlights from the event included the first public showing of the trailer to the Millard Fuller Movie, a seven-minute film about Millard's legacy, and the announcement of legislation that intends to rename a portion of Highway 29 "The Millard Fuller Memorial Highway."

The MFLB blog will be featuring one or two people each day to give readers a feel for the event. Look for a Q&A from a special volunteer later today. For now, enjoy some pictures from yesterday.

These volunteers from Neimond's Independent Church in Pennsylvania won't get lost in a crowd.

Debbie Tollett received a Habitat Home many years ago. Now she volunteers for the Fuller Center. Here she's standing with Wayne Hall, who served as the House Captain for her house.

Fuller Center Director of Special Programs Ryan Iafigliola gives it right back during the passing of the hard hats. Local girl and boy scouts helped with the offering which collected $4,000.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

And it begins!

The Millard Fuller Legacy Build Kickoff Celebration is mere hours away! Hundreds of attendees are climbing into their vehicles right now to head to Valley, Ala. (And we hope they all carefully checked that their ETA is 3:30 Eastern Daylight Time. Click here for directions.)

As you eagerly anticipate this big event, take a minute to check out these photos of the building and other activities that have already begun in preparation for the arrival of the 256 volunteers today and tomorrow.

More updates to come after the Celebration today. And follow for live updates during the event.

Volunteers bring supplies to construction site.

Volunteers prepare food for those who've already been building.

Foundation has been poured on all of the homes.

Friday, August 28, 2009

It's almost here!

Volunteers, board members and coordinators are arriving in Lanett, Ala. already today and tomorrow to take care of early preparations for the Millard Fuller Legacy Build. President David Snell is heading over at noon.

The real rush, of course, will hit on Sunday where about 1,000 are expected to attend the Legacy Build Kickoff Celebration. The Valley Community Center (Sportsplex) employees are working hard to set up the gymnasium.

Former President Jimmy Carter's Secret Service visited Wednesday to familiarize themselves with the premises. President Carter spoke with a paper in La Grange and said he'd do anything to honor the legacy of Millard Fuller. He'll arrive Sunday after attending tomorrow's memorial service for Ted Kennedy.

Other media is catching wind of the event also--The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer and The Americus Times-Recorder both made announcements. Look for more coverage of the worldwide, 100-house dedication week begins!

It's a rainy day in Americus and about 70 degrees in Lanett. Forecasters are predicting a partly cloudy week in the mid-80s. It looks like it could be a beautiful week for the 246 registered volunteers to build.

In the photo above you can see the volunteer tent is already up and ready. All we need now is the volunteers. Travel safe and oyee!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jimmy Carter speaking at kickoff celebration

The weeklong Millard Fuller Legacy Build is almost here and it looks like it will begin with a bang--and keep getting better from there!

The Fuller Center just announced that former president Jimmy Carter will be speaking at the Legacy Build Kickoff Celebration, Aug. 30 at 3:30 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time). Carter was a great supporter and friend of Millard Fuller, believing in his vision beginning in the early days of Habitat for Humanity.

The celebration will also feature Morris Dees, founder of Southern Poverty Law Center, and Millard's old business partner from his pre-Habitat and Fuller Center days. Dees will tell stories and share memories of his days with Millard.

Check back often as the build gets closer and all week long during the build Aug. 30-Sept. 5. We'll keep you updated with stories and announcements as the week of building houses for six families in Lanett unfolds.