Wake Forest, Wake Forest Baptist join Habitat's Labor Day weekend blitz
August 26, 2009
Revitalization of a historic Winston-Salem neighborhood by Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County will bring out volunteers from Wake Forest University and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center for a “blitz build” that will kick off Sept. 2 and continue into the Labor Day weekend.
Volunteers from the university and the medical center will take part in the annual Jimmy Johnson Labor of Love Blitz Sept. 2-5 in the historic Cherry Street neighborhood near downtown Winston-Salem. Wake Forest and Wake Forest Baptist are sponsoring one of five houses that will be built by Habitat this fall in the neighborhood, beginning with the blitz.
Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch and Dr. John McConnell, chief executive officer of Wake Forest Baptist, will participate in an 8 a.m. opening kick-off ceremony organized by Habitat at the build site, which is at 14th and Cherry streets. Hatch will lead Wake Forest volunteers working on the house sponsored by the university and medical center Sept. 2 and McConnell will lead volunteers from the medical center on Sept. 3.
On Sept. 4, staff members from Wake Forest’s Office of Residence Life and Housing will volunteer. Members of Wake Forest’s baseball team will volunteer on the final day of the blitz, Sept. 5.
Following the blitz, more teams from the university and medical center will continue construction of the house until its anticipated completion in November. The process of finding volunteers has gone smoothly, according to organizers at the university and medical center. They have filled every scheduled construction day with volunteers that include students, faculty, staff and administrators.
Throughout that time this fall, other sponsors and their volunteers will build four neighboring houses. Other homes to be built include:
- Southern Community Bank/Greek Orthodox Church House
- Young Professionals/Centenary United Methodist Church House
- Forsyth County Bar Association House
- Unity House
Before the blitz build, some preliminary work was done on the Wake Forest/Wake Forest Baptist house in recent weeks. Some of that work was performed by students, including incoming freshmen as well as students in the School of Law and Business Schools.
Habitat began working in the historic Cherry Street neighborhood last February, demolishing blighted houses in an area that once was a thriving African-American community. Ultimately, more Habitat homes will be built in the neighborhood.
This marks the fifth year of the Labor of Love blitz, which honors the late Jimmy Johnson, a well-known builder, leader in the Home Builders Association and supporter of Habitat.