Americus turns out for MLK build - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Americus turns out for MLK build

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January 19, 2004

Americus-- New Horizons Board Member Wes Wheeler says, "It is challenging, but week by week, month by month, year by year we are making great progress."

New Horizons is making progress toward building more homes in Americus. 

We all know that Americus is home to Habitat for Humanity International. But did you know the city is also home to New Horizons?  If you don't, you are not alone. 

New Horizons is the Habitat affiliate for the city of Americus and it has lived in the shadow of the much larger International for years. But, the King Day build is a new start for the Habitat chapter.

This year's Martin Luther King Day project in Americus is something different--a 6,000 square foot community center. 

But, something else is different about today too, "When I got here today I asked my preacher to give a preacher's estimate, how many people we have here today, and he said at least 300 plus and 80% of them are young people.  It is exciting to see them come from all the schools, public and private, getting involved and giving up a holiday in many cases to come out and work that is very exciting."

Exciting alright--this is the biggest turnout ever for New Horizons.  Plus, most of the volunteers are under the age of 21. 

"It is really fun. It is a fun environment you are working hard and it feels good." Shawnmarie Clements is getting a little advice on how to hammer a nail, "They taught me that if I use it hold the handle instead of the top of it.  I'll work faster cause with Physics I'll hit it harder."

Many of the teens here today aren't that experienced with hammering either, but they are willing to learn.  That's a desire that would have made Dr. King proud.

The Community Center will house the Boys and Girls Club--the first partnership of its kind nationwide between both organizations.

Posted at 4:04 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com