New Birth Church Volunteers Bring Hope and Hard Work to Habitat DeKalb

On a cloudy, humid morning, the dedicated members of New Birth Church gathered at Habitat DeKalb’s new build location, ready to make a difference. Despite the persistent presence of mosquitoes, the volunteers’ enthusiasm was undeterred. With eagerness and determination, they prepared to dive into the day’s work.

The house, now past its initial construction phase, was taking shape beautifully. The electrical wiring wove through the ceiling and walls, and soffits and trim were being carefully installed—small but significant details that transform a structure into a home. These components are crucial for proper ventilation and protection against water damage, ensuring the home will be safe and comfortable for its future inhabitants.

Pamela, a first-time volunteer with Habitat, arrived bursting with excitement and curiosity. “What does Habitat do?” she asked. “How does this whole home program work?” She quickly learned that Habitat provides a hand up, not a handout, to aspiring homeowners. By qualifying them for zero or low-interest mortgages and requiring 250 sweat equity hours—volunteer hours put into building their own or others’ homes—Habitat empowers individuals to invest in their futures. Pamela admired this approach, nodding in respect as she remarked on the “blood, sweat, and tears” that go into building one’s own home.

Danielle, another volunteer, echoed Pamela’s enthusiasm. “You really get to see how a home is built and learn so many different things,” she said, recalling a moment when she felt empowered by her newfound skills in home repair. “I like to know how to do stuff like this and really understand what’s going on. I was able to save money by being able to do some home repairs myself.” Rayana, the Marketing Coordinator for Habitat DeKalb, shared a similar sentiment, noting that she had learned how to change a leaking kitchen faucet thanks to Habitat. “No more drip” she proudly stated. 

Under the guidance of Bobby, the construction lead, New Birth volunteers received a hands-on lesson in the tools and tasks of the day. Their main job was to install the soffit, fascia, and frieze board using a nail gun and saw, followed by sealing the nails with caulk. These elements are essential for attic ventilation and protection against water damage. The volunteers eagerly took on their assignments—measuring and cutting boards, setting up scaffolding, and carefully carrying materials.

For many, this was their first experience with scaffolding, adding an extra layer of excitement and learning to the day. As they worked, the volunteers felt a sense of accomplishment. Pamela, beaming with pride, exclaimed, “I’m having a great time. You really get to see how a home is built and learn so many different things like what the purpose of soffit and fascia is.” By the end of the day, the New Birth team had installed nearly 576 inches or 48 feet of soffit, fascia, and frieze boards, and meticulously applied caulk over the nails. They also started installing 2 corner boards as well.

Their hard work brought the house one step closer to becoming a home. Once all the boards are installed, we’ll continue adding the siding—further transforming the structure into a welcoming space.

A heartfelt thank you to New Birth Church for putting God’s love into action by helping build a neighbor’s home. Your dedication and hard work are paving the way for a brighter future for the family who will call this house their home. Together, we’re not just building a house—we’re building hope, one volunteer at a time.