Fuller Center hopes to build houses in Haiti

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By Geoff Hamill

The Fuller Center is all about helping people in need of a home, and right now, few places have more people with that need than Haiti.

Warren Whitaker, with The Fuller Center of Springfield, said he hopes local people will get on board with the project’s theme.

“We’re calling it the Hearts for Haiti Campaign,” Whitaker said. “We’re working with the Lazarian World Homes, a non-profit from California, to quickly and easily build homes for families in Haiti. There’s a huge concern for the people there who are living in tent cities with the hurricane season coming in May and June, and there could be another catastrophe coming with their exposure to that.”

In an effort to help the families who are now homeless after Haiti’s earthquake in January, The Fuller Center’s goal is to build three homes using volunteers from Washington County. Whitaker said while the economy is tough, and some local builders and others with skills to construct homes might have some spare time, he hopes to have volunteers willing to make the trip to Haiti for the project, which is expected to take place around the end of April.

“With the employment situation being what it is, we feel like there could be some people skilled in the type of work needed to be done that could have time to travel, but perhaps don’t have the extra money to spend on travel and other expenses,” Whitaker said. “We’re willing to pay the expenses for people willing to work on this project. That’s our goal. Arrangements are still being made, but all the details aren’t finalized, but we’re hoping this will take place around the end of April.”

While in Haiti, the volunteers will use Styrofoam blocks, concrete and rebar to build the homes, which will measure 16’ x 16’, according to Whitaker. He added that with the materials being used, the homes should be fire and earthquake resistant. Each home is expected to cost about $3,000 to construct.

Anyone interested in making the trip as a volunteer should contact The Fuller Center of Springfield at (859) 481-KARE (5273). Whitaker said volunteers need to have a passport, as well as vaccinations required to enter Haiti. For more on the required vaccinations, which are known as passport vaccinations, call 1-888-499-PASS (7277).

If you don’t have the skills to build, or simply can’t make the trip, you can still help out. Whitaker said The Fuller Center of Springfield will place paper hearts at local churches and businesses which can be purchased for $1. The purchaser can put their name on the heart to show their support, and all money raised from the effort will be used to construct the homes in Haiti.