Patuxent Habitat for Humanity Begins Building Season

By Andrea Shiell, County Times

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (June 18, 2009)—Building crews and volunteers with Patuxent Habitat for Humanity braved the hot weather this weekend at the new Fenwick Ridge subdivision in Lexington Park for what was to be their first build of the season, constructing a new home for local residents Bill and Tiffany Shreve as part of their “Apostles Build” program in concert with several local sponsoring churches.

“The County Commissioners, under Tom McKay at the time, gave us these five lots here, and we’re starting two homes right now for two families,” said Larry Miller, who was heading up construction efforts at the site on Friday with his colleagues Gary Williams and John Girolamo, director of ReStore operations for Patuxent Habitat for Humanity.

“There’s been a great outpouring amongst construction workers and suppliers to donate time, energy and material,” he said, noting that several local companies had contributed to this year’s building efforts, including Dean Lumber and The Trading Post.

“We started the project about three weeks ago – the foundations were dug, the footings were put in, and the four concrete walls were done, and then since then we’ve waterproofed the exterior, prepped the fl oor, and put down the ground-works for the bathroom on the lower level, and this afternoon we’ll actually start the framing of the house,” said Miller, adding that he expected between 60 and 80 volunteers the following day for what was to be an “Apostles’ Blitz Build.”

Former Habitat president Gary Williams explained that the weekend’s construction was part of their “Apostle Build” program, sponsored by a partnership of local churches including Trinity Lutheran, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Holy Face Parish, Church of the Ascension, Good Samaritan, St. Paul’s UMC, Patuxent Presbyterian and several others.

All the while both echoed the words of Dan Doherty, President of Patuxent Habitat, who said “by the end of the weekend the house will be framed and under roof.”

Part of realizing that ambition were Bill and Tiffany Shreve, who joined dozens of volunteers the following day to help build the home as they accrue “sweat equity” hours over the 12-week building period. In that time they will be working on weekends and holidays to help complete their home, which they expect to be done by late August or early September.

Tiffany Shreve, who teaches preschool at Rays of Light Christian Preschool in Lexington Park, said she had been busy nailing flooring that day, and though she admitted not having much construction experience, she has volunteered for Christmas in April for a number of years and said she was happy to be involved.

“I’m very happy about what we’re getting. I’m actually ecstatic about what we’re getting,” she said, fanning herself as she nodded to the three-bedroom house going up behind her.

Despite the flurry of activity at the building site and the outpouring of community support for this year’s build, Miller said he was still concerned that many of the organization’s building efforts needed more support in the form of sponsors and volunteers.

“We’ve got a number of families waiting in the wings for homes until we get sponsors, so the best message we can get out there would be painting a picture of stepping in, meeting a family and helping them build their home,” he said. “There is no charity quite like this,” he added, smiling.

For information about sponsorship and volunteer opportunities with Patuxent Habitat for Humanity, call the office at 301-863-6227 or 410-326-9050, or go to

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