Fuller Center volunteers head to Haiti to build first house

Volunteers are in Haiti preparing to build the first Fuller Center house this month in Bellanton. The home is for a widow with a large family who lost their stick and mud hut to the recent earthquake.

Georgia home-builder Frank Purvis and Billy Ponko of Indiana will direct Fuller Center operations in Haiti. They have been in the country since last week assessing The Fuller Center’s first project sites. The pair are examining four potential land sites in Carrefour and Leogane and visiting local organizations partnering with The Fuller Center in Haiti. They have also been exploring ways to provide employment opportunities for Haitians.

While Purvis and Ponko checked out land and partnerships, Fuller Center board members Jacob Battle of Georgia and DJ Bakken of Minnesota headed to Haiti for a separate Fuller Center building project. Bakken connected The Fuller Center with another non-profit, City Lights Ministry, to advance The Fuller Center’s ability to help and build. City Lights has worked in Haiti for several years and is leading the Bellanton Transformation Project that includes building an orphanage, school, church and instigating economic development projects. 

"The Fuller Center will be established on the ground in Haiti," Battle said. "We can let the people [in Haiti] know that we are there, and we care, and that we are going to do all that we can to make sure that they have a decent and safe home. It’s a blessing to me to be able to go over to help."

Battle is leading an initiative to raise funding in Sumter County, Ga., to build 20 additional homes.

"I believe that we have enough love and compassion and concern within our county that we can raise this money to build those houses," he said.

The Fuller Center’s long-term goal is to build 5,000 homes in Haiti by 2015. Enough money has been raised to build the first 100 houses so far. Fuller Center President David Snell says The Fuller Center has the capacity to build even more than 5,000 if funding is available.

To learn more about how you can get involved, visit our Haiti page

To read a WALB-Albany news story about Battle, please click here. 

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