Rotary Club’s service push aims to work on 15 Fuller Center homes in Hammond, Louisiana, area

Rotary Club’s service push aims to work on 15 Fuller Center homes in Hammond, Louisiana, area

The Hammond Rotary Club’s 100 Days of Service Projects, an initiative to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the national club’s local district, will focus on an effort to work on 15 home projects with the Ginger Ford Northshore Fuller Center for Housing. From Jan. 1 until April 10, Rotary clubs in District 1680 are sponsoring service projects throughout Southeast Louisiana and south Mississippi. The Hammond club is partnering with Ponchatoula and Northlake-Mandeville Rotary Clubs, and Northshore Homebuilders Association for this Fuller Center initiative.

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If your service organization would like to work with a local Fuller Center group, click here to see if there is a partner in your area.

 

 

Fuller Center dedicates 2 homes in Hammond, LA; 1 going up next week in Pearl River, LA

Fuller Center dedicates 2 homes in Hammond, LA; 1 going up next week in Pearl River, LA

The Ginger Ford Northshore Fuller Center for Housing had two home dedications this past weekend in Hammond, Louisiana, and this weekend is welcoming a team from Salem Reform Church of Little Rock, Iowa, for a one-week build in Pearl River, Louisiana — The Fuller Center’s first in that city.

The first home dedication Saturday was for Daphne Vernon, who cut the ribbon on the 1,050-square-foot home she now shares with her 5-year-old son, Aaron.

“She has been waiting for one of our houses and going through our program for the last two years,” said Tamara Danel, Executive Director of the Ginger Ford Northshore Fuller Center. “We had a property that had been donated by the city, and it was to be used specifically for a workforce development family — meaning they had to have a job and be paying taxes. We chose Daphne because she fits our income range and works at a local hospital.”

Home dedication for Mark Miley.

Home dedication for Mark Miley.

The second home dedication Saturday was for Mark Miley, who is looking forward not only to raising his young sons Michael and Luke in the home but also to paying it forward with volunteering beyond his required sweat equity.

“We typically see more single moms and their children, so we’re excited to partner for the first time with a single dad,” Danel said. “He’s also a carpenter, which we really like, and he has volunteered to make cabinets for all of our houses in the future. We’re excited to have him on board as not just a homeowner but also as a contributing homeowner who wants to continue to pay it forward.”

Like all Fuller Center homeowners, Vernon and Miley will repay the costs of the materials on terms they can afford, over time, with no interest charged and no profit made. Those payments go into a local fund through which The Fuller Center can extend the hand of partnership to more local families in need of simple, decent places to live.

“The more new houses we build, the more new houses we can build,” Danel said, explaining the model Millard and Linda Fuller developed and that covenant partners like Ginger Ford Northshore have utilized to grow their impact. “The more mortgage payments coming in, the more people we can serve. That’s what we want — we want to increase our capacity, and we do that with each new house we build.”

“The more new houses we build, the more new houses we can build. That’s what we want — we want to increase our capacity, and we do that with each new house we build.” — Tamara Danel, Executive Director, Ginger Ford Northshore Fuller Center

That kind of capacity will be on display next week in Pearl River, as will be yet another Fuller Center tool — partnership.

Salem Reformed Church of Little Rock, Iowa, longed to spend a mission week serving others in the United States. The charitable outreach group Compassion Pearl River was eager to help a family build a decent home after 10 years of living in a FEMA trailer following Hurricane Katrina. Ginger Ford Northshore is bringing those forces together and using a CrossRoads Missions wall package assembled by YouthBuild members. The build, which will be Ginger Ford Northshore’s 27th project of the year (including renovations and repairs) begins Monday.

“It’s a three-way partnership to get it all done,” said Danel, who has been addressing recent flood damage even as they still see long-lingering effects more than a decade after Katrina. “It seems like all the ramifications of Katrina are ongoing, that’s for sure. Here we are, 11 years later, still addressing issues.”

World Changers youth work with Fuller Center to lift flood-damaged community

World Changers youth work with Fuller Center to lift flood-damaged community

In March, flooding ravaged parts of Louisiana. Among the hardest hit was Tangipahoa Parish, where at least 1,000 homes took on water.

That’s where the Ginger Ford Northshore Fuller Center for Housing has worked for years to build new homes and repair scores of existing homes. This week, their efforts to help families still recovering from the floods has gotten a tremendous boost from World Changers, which has sent 140 young volunteers from several different states to work with Ginger Ford Northshore.

“It definitely builds morale among the homeowners,” said Ginger Ford Northshore Executive Director Tamara Danel, whose Fuller Center covenant partner also hosted World Changers teams in 2013 and 2014. “They definitely feel uplifted. We’ve got a lot of happy homeowners who were in desperate need of a wheelchair ramp or flood repairs or repairs to their existing homes.”

“The World Changers’ mission is the same as The Fuller Center’s mission in that they come to serve in the name of Jesus, and they want it to be done with love for whoever needs help. It’s a great fit.” — Tamara Danel, Executive Director, Ginger Ford Northshore Fuller Center

In addition to helping flood victims make long-needed repairs, the volunteers also are building wheelchair ramps and making other non-flood-related repairs. The covenant partner also is hosting a 10-volunteer team from St. Joseph’s Prep School of Philadelphia. At least 19 projects are being tackled this week.

Students from St. Joseph’s Preparatory School of Philadelphia work this week in Tangipahoa Parish, La.

Danel said the community’s embrace of the volunteers is key to being able to host such a large group, and their response also makes volunteers want to return.

“We have some repeat World Changers group leaders who’ve been here before and really like coming here,” she said. “They like the food and the hospitality and they like the scope of the work that we assign them. They feel like they can really get hands-on and get involved and really make a difference in the lives of the people they have come to serve. And we’ve had lots of local churches and local businesses step forward to feed our volunteers.”

In addition to supplying many hands ready to work, World Changers provides some intangible support to The Fuller Center, as well, by infusing new energy and spirit into the ministry. Danel believes that The Fuller Center and World Changers are kindred spirits and natural partners.

“The World Changers’ mission is the same as The Fuller Center’s mission in that they come to serve in the name of Jesus, and they want it to be done with love for whoever needs help,” she said. “It’s a great fit. All of the volunteers come with eager hearts and minds and are just ready to serve and do whatever it takes. So it’s a great fit with The Fuller Center.”

Related: The video below is from The World Changers’ 2014 visit to Tangipahoa Parish: