Young Legacy Build volunteers gain valuable experience while redefining “home work”

Young Legacy Build volunteers gain valuable experience while redefining “home work”

LANETT, Alabama — There are a number of familiar faces on North 12th Avenue this week as The Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project builds its 74th and 75th new homes at the 2022 Millard Fuller Legacy Build in the same neighborhood that hosted the inaugural 2009 Legacy Build. Some of these familiar faces are veterans of multiple Legacy Builds, including the first one in 2009.

There also are some fresh faces helping to build these two new homes, including several members of the student government at W.F. Burns Middle School of nearby Valley, Alabama. It’s an opportunity for them to practice what they preach as the essence of governance is much about serving as it is about leading.

“It’s pretty fun, and it’s a nice adventure away,” seventh-grader Adelaide Floyd said. “It feels great to help people in the town, and it’s definitely a great experience for the future.”

While each of the students seemed excited to be out of the classroom, they were plenty busy painting the siding for one of the homes.

“I like helping out people, so this is pretty fun for me,” eighth-grader Shelby Spradlin said. “I like painting and helping people, and it’s going to help me encourage others to help.”

Maria Miles, teacher and Student Government Association advisor at W.F. Burns Middle School

“We want our kids and students to learn the importance of service to the community and helping others, to help lay that foundation toward becoming those adults who will continuously be there and offer service to those who need it,” said eight-grade history teacher Maria Miles, who is an advisor for W.F. Burns’ Student Government Association. “This puts them out there. It allows them to work with others, and it allows them to get to know each other a little bit more and those in the community who they might not be as familiar with.”

Miles added that it was good for the students to work alongside the many adults of all ages who were doing everything from swinging hammers and running saws to carrying wood and, as they were, painting.

“They’re noticing what these adults are doing for the community, and I think that’s hugely important,” Miles said.

Seventh-grader Kyla Williams was uplifted by all of the hard work volunteered by those around her.

“It’s good to see people having kindness in their heart,” she said. “It’s been a good and happy day of helping other people.”

“This is a good day to help people in need, and this is a really good event for helping people,” seventh-grader Amariah Givens added.

Seventh-grader Reese Riley appreciates being a part of an event that is not just checking off a box for volunteer service time but is making a real, tangible difference in people’s lives.

“I love helping people, and helping build houses makes me feel good inside,” she said. “I know that I’m doing something to help other people. It’s going to make my heart feel good that I was able to help.”

Seventh-grader Callie Tucker is proud to have ownership in a project that will see two families have homes in a short period time thanks to the efforts of herself and many other good-hearted volunteers.

“It’s been a really fun experience for all of us,” she said. “It’s going to be really fun to see the results of something that we helped with.”

Fellow seventh-grader Gracyn Melton feels a similar calling to work as many of the experienced volunteers.

“I’m helping the community and just doing what I feel called to do as a Christian,” she said.

She also is eager to see the finished product … and to show someone her “home work.”

“I’ll have to get my parents to come drive by and look at my work,” she said with a smile.

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