Fuller Center to begin work in one of Puerto Rico’s hardest-hit areas — and you can help

Fuller Center to begin work in one of Puerto Rico’s hardest-hit areas — and you can help

Though it was more than six months ago that Hurricane Maria bashed Puerto Rico as a strong Category 4 storm, many parts of the island look like they were just struck yesterday. More than 100,000 residents remain without electricity.

One of the hardest-hit areas was the southeastern portion of the island, across the mid-island mountains from bustling San Juan. It is here that The Fuller Center for Housing will begin sending its first Global Builders volunteer teams to work in long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Specifically, volunteers will be staying in the small community of Calzada, which is composed of 184 families just on the outskirts of the city of Maunabo, which has about 15,000 residents. Volunteers will be working in Calzada and its surrounding area. It is a secluded region, nestled between the inland mountains and the blue-green sea whose waves roll upon strikingly beautiful beaches. Because of its secluded location, however, it also is expected to be among the last places on the island to have its electricity restored.

“The area where we’re working seems like a lovely small town community — except that it was one of the hardest-hit areas from the storms and still doesn’t have power,” said Fuller Center Director of International Field Operations Ryan Iafigliola, who visited the area in February. “They know what needs to be done, but they need help.”

The red marker denotes Calzada on the southeastern corner of Puerto Rico.

The Fuller Center does not parachute into areas of need and decide how to help. Instead, the nonprofit housing ministry works through local partners — whether that happens to be in a U.S. mainland city, a third-world country or a disaster zone. The Fuller Center’s success in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake can be greatly attributed to working through local partners on the ground. In Calzada, leaders say the need is for repairs and rebuilding in an area that was poverty-stricken even before Hurricane Maria. Blue tarps now serve as roofs for many of the homes.

“The way that we work is truly different from anyone else out there,” Iafigliola said. “We don’t send in our ‘man with a plan,’ we identify local leaders who want to do this type of work and help them to be successful at it. It’s very grassroots.”

The community of Calzada, Puerto Rico

When The Fuller Center announced last year that it would be looking for partners who would be able to host volunteers and put them to work, many people responded that they wanted to be among the first to volunteer on the island. Many of those people already are organizing teams and planning trips, which will be listed soon on The Fuller Center’s Global Builders Upcoming Trips page.

If you would like to know more about The Fuller Center’s plans for working in Puerto Rico, please visit our new Puerto Rico webpage here. You will find descriptions of the area, as well as information about what Global Builders trips there will be like and how you can express interest in joining or leading a work trip to Calzada. If you would like to donate to our work in Puerto Rico, please click here to give.

VIDEO: A look at the town of Maunabo, filmed two months after Hurricane Maria:

Haiti still needs our help!

Hello, everyone!

I am SO incredibly excited to be leading my third build trip to Haiti this coming August with the Fuller Center! I hope that many of you will join me this time or in the future (and there will be plenty of trips in the future!!).


I am very excited to return to Haiti, not only because I FINALLY gets to co-lead a trip with my awesome friend, Dave Dobson, but also because I get to return to see the wonderful people at Lambi who have come to mean so much to me. I am also THRILLED to be able to return to spend time at the orphanages run by friends of mine through Mission Haiti Helping Kids, an organization that is near and dear to my heart.

Many of you have been so very generous and supportive of my past trips, and for that, I am eternally grateful! If you feel you would like to contribute to my trip, please do so, and please remember that every little bit is immensely appreciated. Thank you for helping me the people of Haiti and for allowing me to pursue the work that I truly LOVE.

With deep gratitude an love,


The Trivandrum Fuller Center for Housing and the Mercer Service Scholars

The Trivandrum Fuller Center for Housing and the Mercer Service Scholars

A dyanmic and dedicated team from Mercer University, Georgia, USA, led by Dr Chris Grant and co-led by Dr Ann Drake & Dr Ashley Murray, visited the Trivandrum Fuller Center for Housing, India on a Global Builders’ Mission from July 17 to August 03, 2012. During their stay, the team members worked for three homeowner families and witnessed the dedication of one Fuller Home. They are understood to have left India cherishing unforgettable experiences gained from their interactions with the local Board and the people around. They enjoyed being exposed to cultural performances and recreational activities. The few pictures below will bear testimony to their memorable visit to Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala, God’s Own Country.


Bicycle Adventure

I asked God to extend my territory, and he has given me the opportunity to be a part of the Fuller Center for Housing Bicycle Adventure this summer! I believe helping people in need and sharing the amazing things God has done in our lives it the best combination. Putting Faith in Action by lifting families out of proverty housing is a way of showing the community how the Love of God is in us."I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words that Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’" Acts 20:35
Focusing on the plans of God opens up doors of opportunities to grow. This trip will not only help me grow spiritualy, but also will show the people the everlasting and ever loving God we serve. I’m very excited for this life changing experience and to see what God has in store for us. :)"If anyone has material possesions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear Children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth" 1John 3:17-18

Help Our Family Give Back to Armenia!

In 2006, our family adopted a daughter from Armenia.  We wanted a connection to the larger world and we chose to adopt internationally.  When we adopted Milena, we changed her life forever.  We gave her a family and a home, but she gave us so much more.  She opened our eyes to a new world beyond our own.


Our trip to Armenia in 2006 was a transformative one.  It is very humbling to watch a mother visit her child in the orphanage, knowing that she must leave her child there because she doesn’t have enough money to raise her child at home.

We saw poverty in Armenia, but we also saw an inspiring industrial spirit. I have learned through our adoption that one act can have a ripple effect that can change the lives of many.  That is why I feel this program is so valuable.  Building one home may not seem like such a large thing, but it will permanently improve the life of an entire family.  That act of kindness can ripple through a community to impact everyone positively.

In June 2012, Kjell and I will travel with a group of mothers and sons from St. Sahag Armenian Church to Vanadzor, in northern Armenia.  In 1988, this area experienced a large earthquake, killing and maiming many and leaving a large population homeless.  Almost 25 years later, many families still live in metal shipping containers called “domics”.

Housing is such a basic need.  Once met, I hope the families that Fuller Center serves can devote their time to building up their lives and pay our kindness forward to help another family.

One act of kindness can have a ripple effect that reaches around the world.  Please consider supporting our effort.


2012 Spring Ride

Hello everyone,


For those of you that don’t know me my name is Jeffrey Blain and I enjoy riding my bike and have a love of the outdoors.  I have been an avid cyclist since 1983 and an advocate of the sport just as long.  So, I am always looking for ways to combine the sport I love with helping others in need.  The Fuller Center for Housing has given me the opportunity to do this and much more.  I am so grateful and appreciative that I get to meet and ride with like-minded people. 

Last year I participated in a fund raising event for starving children in Africa. The one-week event, which entailed; for every mile I rode for the week I would generate $1 to the cause.  I am happy to say that I rode 690 miles in one week, the longest day being 173 miles.  As a whole we raised over $50,000 for the kids in Africa.  When I told my friends and family about what I did, they all inevitably asked, “Why didn’t you tell me, I would have contributed as well.”  Well, this time I am giving everyone a ‘heads-up’ about my latest fund raising event.

This March I will be riding in a one-week 400 mile fund raising event from Tennessee to Mississippi on the Natchez Trail.  The Fuller Center for Housing is a 501(c)(3) Christian based non-profit organization that provides housing for families in need.  Not only do they do this in our home borders but internationally as well.   All donations are tax-deductible and the 501(c)(3) number is available upon request.

With your financial generosity perhaps you and I can help one family meet a basic human need: SHELTER!  My goal is to raise $3,750 for this event.  It may be a cliché, but every little bit does help!  You can participate by donating $.01, $.10, or $1 per mile, or more if you wish. 

I wish to thank you all in advance for helping me to achieve my $3,750 fund raising goal.


Jeffrey Blain

United States


On Jan. 12, 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The devastation:

·  More than two million people were affected.
·  Nearly 190,000 houses were damaged; of those, 105,000 were completely destroyed.
·  More than 500,000 survivors remain homeless – a population as large as Oslo, Norway; Panama City, Panama; or Las Vegas, Nevada.

I’m proud and honored to announce that I’ll be joining the “Grace Fuller Center” and “One Small House" in spring 2012 as we travel to Haiti to build simple, decent homes for families displaced by the devastating earthquake of January 2010. We will partner with homeowners and local Haitian craftspeople to construct six homes as part of a 56-home development already underway in Lambi, a site located between the cities of Carrefour and Leogane, not far from the epicenter of the earthquake.
We will not be building temporary shelters, but permanent homes, designed to withstand earthquakes and category 4 hurricanes, and positioned to be at the center of a new community. Prior to the earthquake, Haiti was the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.  Afterward, conditions became immeasurably worse.  Granted, we all have the natural tendency to block out horrible news, political strife and economic corruption. We think: What can I, one person, do?  In Haiti, however, progress has been made.  Rubble has been cleared.  Rebuilding has begun, and some people have moved out of their temporary quarters and where possible, returned home.  The Haitian people are determined and hardworking and deserve the assistance of us, their more fortunate neighbors.  Why go?  We will not cure all of Haiti’s ills, but in the words of Edward Hale, “I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”

For those of you who remember my brother Pierre, or the family cottage we used to own, one thing we always said in french: “A gang, on peut le faire”.  In english, “All together, we can do it”.
It is with great privilege that I’m dedicating this trip to the memory of my brother Pierre, who would always put the needs of others ahead of his.  No matter what the consequences were.  At the moment, I’m planning on attending trip no. 90029 (March 25-31).  With your help, and generosity, I would like to spend three weeks in Haiti. There is another build on April 8 to 14 (trip no. 90030) and the Residence Filariose, where we will be staying in Léogane as accepted for me to do some volunteer work for them, should I choose and afford to stay.
I love you Bro, and I hope I’ll make you proud.

Little Bro

My fundraising goal is $3,000.



It’s with great privilege and honour that I’m announcing my effort to do my part in the re-building of Haiti.

On Jan. 12, 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

The devastation:

– More than two million people were affected.
– Nearly 190,000 houses were damaged; of those, 105,000 were completely destroyed.
– More than 500,000 survivors remain homeless – a population as large as Oslo, Norway; Panama City, Panama; or Las Vegas, Nevada.

A dire need for helping hands
Haiti has long been the poorest country in the western hemisphere. In a country with few building inspectors and poor construction techniques, it was only a matter of time before tragedy struck.
When that tragedy appeared in the form of the January 2010 earthquake, the results were devastating. Thousands of buildings collapsed, killing 200,000 people.

Today, hundreds of thousands are still living in tents and permanent housing is Haiti’s greatest need. Our volunteers are helping Haitians get back on their feet by building highly earthquake- and hurricane-resistant houses.

March 25-31, 2012 – Partnered with the Grace Fuller Center, One Small House, and homeowners and local Haitian craftspeople I will be matching my effort to the efforts of other volunteers, in continuing a project that was started in Lambi  The project calls to construct six homes as part of a 56-home development already underway in Lambi, a site located between the cities of Carrefour and Leogane, not far from the epicenter of the earthquake.