Judy Blalack


This is the second in a series of blog by people who are participating in our Global Home Challenge.

Judy and Verne Blalack

Every mile matters in this Challenge!

I’m Judy Blalack representing Silver Valley Fuller Center for Housing in Idaho. It is now 12:26 a.m., a good time for reflection after our first day of the Global Home Challenge.

My husband, Verne, and I were on the original steering committee and joined Habitat for Humanity as full-time volunteers in October 1993. We have worn many hats in this organization during the last 27 years and have rejoiced with the accomplishments our group has made in our valley. We also became friends of the Fuller Center Bike Adventurers when they came to work in our Valley during their cross country trips. I met its founder, Ryan Iafigliola (now The Fuller Center’s Vice President of International Programs)  on their first trip here.

Sadly time has taken its toll. Verne now has heart conditions and dementia and no longer can serve as site supervisor nor as bookkeeper/treasurer. On my recent 80th birthday this month, we resigned from our board of directors. I continue to work with fundraising and PR (editing and producing a monthly newsletter since August 1993). I am a board member of The Fuller Center for Housing International but no longer take 5 days to travel to Georgia for the meetings — attending instead via Zoom.

I was delighted when our local board secretary, Ellie Arguimbau (who has a blog post appearing on on Friday, June 5), approached me about starting a group with the Global Home Challenge, Team Silver Valley Idaho. Mainly because Verne is willing to participate, it is good exercise for him; we think it is a very worthy endeavor having participated in the Jimmy Carter Work Project in the Philippines where we saw third world housing first-hand; and this gives me interesting material for The Silver Bulletin, our monthly newsletter. (If you are interested, you can find it posted for the past several years on our website

We have pledged to walk a mile between us every day, usually to our post office and back. That makes 80 miles. Verne uses his walker with a seat, and I sometimes take mine so I can sit if it looks like he will need to rest frequently. So far we have recruited our son and wife, George & Melody, in Hawaii. We have a flyer explaining the Challenge which will be in the next newsletter and is easy to hand out while walking. Both of the therapists who help Verne are excited about it and hopefully will start teams of their own.

Tomorrow (actually today) we will be leaving early again and go up river, the opposite direction from the post office, where there is more shade since the weather will be about unusually hot — 90 degrees in the afternoon when our post office is open. We are fortunate to have a first-class trail across the road from our home. It is The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, following the route from Mullan, Idaho, to Plummer, Idaho, replacing a railroad. It even crosses over a portion of Lake Coeur d’Alene on a bridge that rotates for tall boats. We did bike the whole 70-plus miles years ago.

It will be interesting to see how this summer will progress.

Peace & Blessings,


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