Off to Louisiana! Here's the plan …

By Chris Johnson
Director of communications

I’ve never been to Louisiana. And I’ve never crossed the Mississippi River except by airplane. I’ll take care of both of those “nevers” this weekend as several members of our headquarters staff board the Fuller Center van and head west of Americus. Way west. About 600 miles west.

We’re building eight new homes and repairing seven others in Minden, La., with the Webster Parish Fuller Center hosting our third annual Millard Fuller Legacy Build, during which The Fuller Center for Housing will dedicated more than 130 houses around the world – adding to the more than 1,500 we’ve dedicated since 2005.

Of course, by “we’re building” I mean y’all (or you, depending upon where you’re from). I may pick up a hammer and drive a nail or two, but y’all don’t want that. My job will be to help convey all the great work y’all are going to be doing. To me, my job is quite simple.

I’m not much of a planner. Ask our President David Snell how excited I get when I find out there’s a meeting. But our communications team has a plan for the 2011 Legacy Build. It’s top secret, but I’ll share it anyway because that’s how I roll. It’s three-pronged:

1. We’ll take pictures of y’all building houses.

2. We’ll shoot video of y’all building houses.

3. We’ll write about y’all building houses.

I’d like to say our communications strategy is more complicated than that, but it’s really not. Really, this is coming from a guy who’s used the word "y’all" six times in this blog post so far. Oops. Make that seven.

Leah Gernetzke will be the chief photographer and will look for stories and update the Millard Fuller Legacy Build blog.

Scott Umstattd, who accompanied the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure across the country, will once again loan us his brilliant video skills.

And I’ll be taking pictures, looking for stories, updating the Fuller Center General blog and dealing with the media (which I was a part of for the past 22 years). We’ll all be updating the website and our Facebook page to keep folks elsewhere informed about all the things going on in Minden. Plus, I’ll be hard at work with my main skill, which is to drop by your work site and offer valuable comments like, “Nice wall!”

And if anyone tells me to go jump in a lake (you won’t be the first), I’ll actually have a lake to jump in as I’ll be staying in the free volunteer lodging at Camp Caney.

See you in Louisiana! (And if you haven’t registered, come anyway. We’ll find a place for you, and we could use a few more folks on the site. Tell them I sent you!)

Take a look back at the 2010 Millard Fuller Legacy Build in photos.

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