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Holy Hammers
Photo supplied Members of Jordon Lutheran, Our Savior Lutheran and St. Johns UCC churches come together with hammers and a willing spirit to start the foundation for two Habitat homes in Browntown.
If you've been anywhere near Browntown on any Saturday this past month then you would have heard the pounding of hammers that resonates from the build site of two new Habitat for Humanity homes being built.

BROWNTOWN - Many area churches have come together to rally behind Habitat for Humanity and provide not only financial support, but also provide the bulk of the volunteer labor needed to build two homes in Browntown this summer.

"It has been an amazing experience to see how things have really come together. Habitat for Humanity, a Christian organization has tried to muster this kind of support in years prior with marginal success," said Carol Holmes, president of Green County Habitat for Humanity.

So far there have been four Saturday "Blitz Builds" with teams of workers from the following local churches: Jordon Lutheran, Our Savior Lutheran, Wiota Lutheran, Pecatonica Lutheran, St. John's United Church of Christ of Monroe and Washington Reformation of Monticello. Help has also been received from a team of workers from Monroe Clinic. The churches have provided lunch for volunteers.

On the first Saturday, members of Jordon Lutheran, Our Savior Lutheran and St. John's brought their willing spirit, many hands and skilled workers to put in the beam, floor joist and first floor deck on both homes.

The next week, members of Wiota Lutheran and Washington Reformation UCC sent workers to put together and raise the outside walls.

On the third Saturday, Pecatonica Lutheran churches along with a team from Monroe Clinic worked on setting the trusses and sheeting the roof. Next came the roof itself, on the hottest Saturday so far, done by returning volunteers from both Pecatonica and St. John's.

"Each week we have had ample workers and have met or exceeded our expectations for how much we were able to get done," said Cathy Sennett, volunteer coordinator for Habitat for Humanity.

Preparation work is also being done during the week by a dedicated group of Habitat volunteers.

"Constructing these two homes, side-by-side, is a big undertaking and a huge leap of faith for the all volunteer board of Habitat for Humanity, but the support we have seen so far has really been uplifting," Holmes said.

Volunteer teams are signed up from Cornerstone, Sheppard of the Hills, Peace and Grace Lutheran churches as well as Swiss Church of New Glarus and Zwingli UCC in Monticello.

One home has been named "Charlie's House" and is dedicated to Charlie Workman, a long-time Habitat supporter and "father" of Habitat for Humanity in Green County. Charlie and his wife Marilynn, together with friends and family have donated $20,000 in honor of his 90th birthday, to be used toward the project. Corie Tschannen and Chris Humphrey along with their two children will partner with Habitat to build the home.

The construction of a home for Marie and Terry Svendsen, their children and mother, is the result of two organizations - Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Habitat for Humanity International - joining forces in an alliance called Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity. The alliance between these two non-profits is in the third year of a four-year, $125 million commitment and has made possible the second home.

Thrivent Financial will be providing 65 percent of the costs to build the home, and is counting on the area Lutheran churches to supply at least 50 percent of the volunteer hours and another 10 percent of the funds needed to complete the home.

Volunteer space is still available for upcoming weeks, and no experience is necessary to help build. Call 329-4024 and leave a name, phone number and e-mail address to be added to the volunteer list.

Tax deductible monetary donations are also needed and appreciated as well. Make checks payable to Green County HFH and mail to P.O. Box 398, Monroe, WI 53566. For more information, visit