To the Editor:

During the week of July 21st, twelve Global Village volunteers from six states and one from Australia descended on Manchester to help build two houses off Jennifer Lane with two Home Buyers and Bennington Area Habitat for Humanity. Each day a few of our regular volunteer builders worked with them with additional, week long 'steerage' from site supervisors, Olavi Wirkki and Peter VanVleck. The week of work by the Global Village team was an incredible boost to our building goal to finish these houses by the end of the year. As a result, the foundations are both in, storage sheds are complete and the walls for both houses are going up.

All of this building energy was fueled by many great area cooks. Mid-morning snacks were provided by Habitat family partners, lunches came from Monica Knorr and Steve Sinding, the First Congregational Church in Manchester, the United Church of Dorset and E. Rupert and the Zion Episcopal Church, with dinners at Gringo Jack's (group rate), Ellen and Roger Leeds, East Arlington Federated Church, the Baptist Church, the Depot, and David and Christina Nichols. Jennifer and Bill Amatruto from the Brittany Motel hosted this energetic group who, understandably, went to bed early but also rose early to do yoga stretches on the lawn before breakfast and an 8 a.m. -4 p.m. work day at the build site. "The hospitality and accommodations were absolutely perfect," declared the team leader, Gary Haberlan.


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Each participant received Welcome Bags filled with 'things Vermont" - maple syrup from Doug and Melissa Zecher's Havoc Hill Sugarhouse, T-Shirts Now! from Bob West and donations from the Northshire Bookstore. There was even some time to swim at the Dorset quarry, tour Hildene, hike to Equinox Pond and shop (of course!).

This southern Vermont area is so much about community partnerships and people helping people, accomplishing things together, having fun and forming friendships along the way. On behalf of our Board of Directors, I thank everyone who welcomed, facilitated, fed and worked with these Global Village volunteers. I hope you all felt as enriched and energized by these folk as I was.

Habitat builds every Wednesday and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Won't you come help us finish these houses on schedule? Women and men with all skill levels and time are welcome. Contact 367-1000 for more information. For pictures of these folks and others working at the Jennifer Lane build site visit www.benningtonareahabitat.com.

Ruth Stewart

Dorset