I was so excited to roll into Americus two days ago and see where it all began! It, of course, was Millard and Linda Fuller’s vision of providing simple, decent, homes for people around the globe. What could be a more fitting way to spend our time in Americus than to volunteer on a Fuller Center worksite? This was no ordinary build day! This was the first time FCBA riders had the opportunity to work on a completely new house. The house was a wheelchair-accessible duplex, and the new homeowners were two extraordinary gentlemen, who despite their physical limitations, worked right alongside the volunteers. Besides being specially designed to allow wheelchair access, the house was designed to be extremely energy efficient in order to comply with the budget of a person living on disability income. The exterior walls were lined with six inches of foam insulation, the metal roof was painted white to reflect the sun’s rays, and inline water heaters were installed… all to reduce the utility bills. A house had previously stood on the location of the new duplex, and remaining bricks and chunks of concrete from its foundation were used in the construction of retaining walls for two gardens in the front yard. Each one was built high enough so the plants (once planted) could be reached
from a wheelchair. The house also featured a rainwater collection system. This means that runoff water from the roof is stored in barrels for later use, such as watering the gardens.
Everywhere you looked, work was getting done! Chris and Ivan tackled the gutter and rain barrel installation on the front side of the house. Allen and I raced to install the gutters on the back of the house, but due to some complications, were no match for Ivan and Chris. One wheelbarrow at a time, Kyle moved all the concrete chunks necessary to build the retaining walls for the front gardens. Things were starting to come together! Sue and Aaron did an awesome job installing decorative tiles on the front fascia of the house. Thad ran the saw and custom cut each tile they installed! Much was accomplished, and Thad and Chuck should be moving in by the end of August!
I’d like to tip my hat, or helmet, to the folks at the First Presbyterian Church in Americus! They sponsored the work on Chuck and Thad’s new house and kindly welcomed me to their church service yesterday morning. Their strong fundraising efforts and dedicated volunteers are what make projects like this possible! I also wanted to thank Norm Race for the delicious lunch this afternoon, as well as for his company biking into Americus! And thanks too to RoryEdge and Restored Praise from Restoration Church in Americus for beginning our work day with great music.
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