Season of Wishes: Habitat makes holiday wish for volunteers

Published 12:14 am Friday, December 6, 2019


NATCHEZ — If Duncan McFarlane had one Christmas wish granted this year, it would be for volunteers.

The Natchez-Adams County Habitat for Humanity member said getting volunteers are his primary focus as the group builds a new house on Hunt Circle, in the neighborhood north of Robert Lewis Magnet School.

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“We are desperately in need of volunteers,” McFarlane said. “That is my plea this year.”

Volunteers are what make the construction of the house possible, McFarlane said. In addition to volunteers, future owners of the house are required to provide 250 hours of work to help build the house.

For more than nearly three decades, local volunteers have given their time, labor and monetary donations to build more than 20 houses and provide safe housing with interest-free mortgages for families struggling to afford safe housing.

Each year, individuals and local groups provide manual labor — constructing walls, building roofs and installing drywall to help the local organization provide the houses at a low cost.

Before Christmas, McFarlane says he hopes to finish the new house’s foundation and begin framing the walls.

“We are getting ready to come out of the ground with it,” McFarlane said. “We are going to start framing the house. That is when we will put a lot of people to work.”

McFarlane said he welcomes anyone and everyone who is willing to help, but he would love to have volunteers who want to become regulars on the building site.

“Somebody who will come by on a regular basis to volunteer,” McFarlane said.

Regular volunteers are particularly valuable because they bring experience and continuity to the construction site. Over time, regular volunteers require less guidance and teaching.

McFarlane said those who are interested in pitching need to only come from 8 a.m. to noon on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

“They don’t need any tools or special skills,” McFarlane said. “They don’t need to bring anything — just show up.”

McFarlane said anyone interested in volunteering should call him in advance at 601-807-4956.

McFarlane said those who may not be able to volunteer their time and energy on the construction site, but still want to contribute to the organization, can make a financial contribution.

Monetary donations may be mailed to Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 100, Natchez, MS 39121.