The Union Recorder

Local News

July 30, 2013

Habitat volunteers collect data in Harrisburg

MILLEDGEVILLE — When a small group of local college students decided they wanted to help make a difference within the community, the mission of the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Habitat for Humanity in the Harrisburg neighborhood was the perfect match. In April, the volunteers kicked off their efforts to improve the quality of life for Harrisburg community residents by conducting surveys for Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI).

“When we went into the neighborhood, they weren’t receptive at first, and I think that was because of our generational gap,” said Katie Smoak, a Habitat volunteer and Georgia College student. “Each of us got paired with someone from the neighborhood, known as block captains, to help us give out surveys. We just wanted to do something that would help the community by serving others.”

Annie Beckom, a block captain, has been a Harrisburg community resident for 45 years. Living in a neighborhood with dark street corners and rundown homes, she is worried about the level of safety on Laverne Circle. 

“I saw a lot of old houses looking bad. A lot of people living here are on a fixed income, so they really need help,” Beckom said Monday while showing The Union-Recorder a nearby revitalized home. “I encourage anyone who can spare their time to volunteer to help do just a little bit of paint or cook a meal; anything is appreciated. If we fix up our neighborhood then maybe others will be encouraged to do the same in their neighborhood. If we come together as a community anything is possible.”

Under the NRI, the Habitat volunteers have already surveyed about 50 percent of the 100 homeowners within the focus area.

“Until there are tangible results visible to the community, there’s going to be reluctance, but tangible resources occurred during the week of River of Life,” said Murali Thirumal, local Habitat executive director. “Baldwin County Commissioner Tommy French [District 2] came on our board, took the ball and rolled with it. We wrote a letter to the residents and him and I both signed it. The surveys came to a slow stop during the summer because our sale group has been gone. When River of Life came out, everyone started seeing what was happening and it really generated a lot of enthusiasm in the community. River of Life and Habitat are certainly looking for a long-term relationship for all other Habitat projects.”

Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Raw: Kangaroo Rescued From Swimming Pool Raw: 3 American Doctors Killed in Afghanistan Raw: Obama Arrives at State Dinner in Tokyo Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Raw: Obama Visits Meiji Shrine in Tokyo Stars Talk Guns N' Roses at Golden Gods New Pictures of Ship That Sank in 1888 Oregon Gay Marriage Ban Goes to Court SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
NDN Video
BASE Jumpers Set World Record Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Clerk catches on fire after man throws Molotov Cocktail into Brooklyn store Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown