CRESTVIEW - With over 200 local volunteers and more than 40 out of state "Crazies" working side by side, the Okaloosa community definitely "feels the feeling."
Tom Gerdy, leader of the Habitat for Humanity Road Trip Crazies, as they've been dubbed, describes it like this, "We gather from a dozen or so states two or three times a year in small communities on the east coast. We help plan, organize and direct old fashioned barn raisings that we call Blitz Builds. Our mission is to help the community stir up some excitement for Habitat For Humanity with these Blitz Build Projects. We refer to our efforts as helping people "Feel The Feeling." We are convinced that almost everyone wants to make a difference and to experience how it feels to help someone in need of a hand. Often the only thing keeping people from action is that first step. When people are confident or comfortable enough to take that first step, lives change. We try to help make the first step easy and fun. When hundreds of people gather together and let their hearts tell their hands what to do, it is virtually impossible not "Feel The Feeling." It's hard to describe but you will know when you have felt it."
Well Tom, we know it now, and so do hundreds of volunteers, businesses, and community associations who took part in this awsome weekend! We had Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts coffee; Krystal, Whataburger and Win Dixie supplied breakfast, with lunch cooked for us by North Okaloosa FOP Lodge #146, Wal-Mart Market 15, and Hub City Smokehouse! Trust Mark Bank, Emerald Coast Exchange Club, Publix, Winn Dixie, and Culligan supplied drinks and snacks galore! We had monetary sponsorships from CCB Community Bank, Shake's Frozen Custard, Cox Communications, Eglin Credit Union, Linn's Prestige Kitchens, ERA American Realty, Beach Community Bank, Yvonne Shanklin-Edward Jones Financial Advisor, Clark, Partington, Hart, et al, and Gulf Power. Local in kind contributions came from 1260 Talk Radio, Crestview Community Television, Image Printing, On the Coast Magazine, Comfort Inn and Suites Crestview, and we had national in kind contributors as well from PODS, Yale, Hunter Douglas, Valspar, Schneider Electric, Dow, and Whirlpool.
When individuals and communities come together, anything is possible, even building a house in three days! We can't thank everyone enough for the time, talent and treasure that makes achieving our goal of ending substand housing in Okaloosa County, not only possible, but a reality!
We have temporarily closed applications for home applicants due to our ongoing construction and the length of our waiting list. Please check back with us at a later date when we will re-open applications to potential new homeowners.