Habitat for Humanity Detroit: Archer/McNamara Blitz Build 1997

Created on November 12, 2023 at 11:03 am

Cleaning out old file folders I found a paper copy of the journal from my first ORDINAL Habitat for Humanity Detroit GPE volunteer experience: a weeklong volunteer activity at the Archer/McNamara Blitz Build ORG

1997 DATE .

I forgot about my journal (it’s been over 25 years DATE ), but remembered how excited I was to publish updates each day DATE on the church website (which I managed) as part of mission outreach to our congregation.

Sadly, I only found the printout of day 4 DATE of the blitz build.

There weren’t any other printouts in my file folders. No files in my old computer backups.

And the church website (we moved to another church over 20 years ago DATE ) no longer has any online info about the event.

So I’m following my own advice, to own your content, and publish my day 4 DATE blitz build journal on my own website.

Day 4 DATE : Archer/McNamera Blitz Build ORG

1997 DATE

Hi everyone,

Remember when you used to play in the mud when you were young? Did you ever get your brother to eat one of your mud cakes like I did?

Well, today DATE was supposed to be mud day.

Mud PERSON as in the kind of stuff you use to fill in cracks and seams of drywall, not the kind you get your brother to eat.

I spent the day DATE looking for mud, carrying mud, and trying to find mudders.

I thought mudders were the people married to your fathers, but I learned mudders are very important people who have to finish their work before you can paint, trim walls, hang cabinets, and install flooring.

There’s a lot to know about mud when it comes to housebuilding.

As in there are two CARDINAL different kinds, and you have to use them in a particular order.

Or it just won’t stick, like mud.

The weather was great today DATE . Humidity was low.

Most volunteers stayed for the 7AM to 5PM TIME shift which meant we had a lot of people who could commit to long projects.

The roof is complete and vinyl siding is almost done.

Tomorrow DATE is the last day DATE of the Blitz Build EVENT , but we’re pretty far behind schedule.

Mudders (yes, there’s that term again) arrived late in the afternoon TIME to put on the first ORDINAL coat of drywall mud and taping.

They’ll return tomorrow DATE to add the second ORDINAL coat. Then we volunteers will start to sand and finally paint.

It seems like a long process.

We had a slight mishap yesterday DATE . One CARDINAL of the women painting house trim had an accident when the sawhorses she used to lay out trim collapsed on her.


A Detroit GPE police officer who happened to be driving by the house took her to the hospital.

We learned today DATE she broke her ankle. She had volunteered all week DATE and was one of the friendliest people working on the house.

We wish her the best on a speedy recovery. And miss chatting with her and having her as part of the crew.

Habitat ORG organizing volunteers put centerpieces on our tables for dinner tonight TIME : bowls of licorice candy and real begonia plants.

They must know we’re getting pretty tired and that small things make a difference.

The dedication is tomorrow DATE

afternoon TIME at 3PM no matter what state the house is in.

Millard Fuller PERSON , the founder of Habitat ORG , will be at the dedication in late afternoon TIME . A crew of 20 CARDINAL new volunteers are arriving tomorrow DATE and expectations are we will get a lot done.

Keep your hopes up we’re able to get through a lot of the work tomorrow DATE .


Deborah PERSON

About the Archer/McNamara Blitz Build 1997 DATE

Named for Detroit GPE Mayor Dennis Archer PERSON (who I met and photographed for Habitat Detroit ORG

a few years later DATE ) and Wayne County GPE Executive Edward H. McNamara PERSON , the Archer/McNamara Blitz Build ORG

1997 DATE was a weeklong housebuilding event held in the Westwood Park GPE area, near Evergreen ORG and Schoolcraft.

Over 1,000 CARDINAL volunteers participated in the blitz build, working in crews to build 20 CARDINAL new homes in one week DATE .

As the coordinating volunteer for the build at our church, I recruited and organized a group of church members to help build a house.

For folks who are curious, can you find me in the photo?

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