Snowbirds visit Statesboro to help Habitat

By Dal Cannady - bio | email

STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - The weather Tuesday wasn't exactly what Nick Weingart and the rest of the travelling builders had wanted, but they didn't complain.

"It's really not too bad. We left 21 degrees behind, so this is kinda nice," the Benton Arbor from Michigan.

The team of Habitat for Humanity volunteers came from Michigan to help build Statesboro's latest Habitat home. It started in October when some of them met local foreman J.D. Dunn at a build in Birmingham hosted by former president Jimmy Carter.

"So I gave her the phone number for Lee Cheshire, our executive director," Dunn explained. "And by the time I got back, they had it set up," Dunn stated.

Each winter, the group finds a project somewhere warmer than Michigan and spends the week helping make someone's dream home a reality.

"We feel like we're doing our duty to help someone else other than our own," Weingart explained.

"It's a real blessing because these people coming in are teaching us something new too and we're learning this week and we're teaching them another way of doing it," Dunn added.

"The rules are different down here. You have to have hurricane protection. We don't have that. We get snow, but not the hurricanes," Nick said dryly.

They waited out the rain Tuesday morning by fixing some floors in the local chapter's Habitat Re-Store.

"We do share a similar mission and it's just fun to talk about where all they've been," Dunn noted. "Some of them have been to the Gulf Coast to work, some of us have been to the same towns in the Gulf Coast to work."

The volunteers say they would have liked to see the sun during their trip, but they'll settle for the smile of the home's eventual owner.

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