Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County

Celebrating the Home Builders Blitz

Celebrating the Home Builders Blitz

On April 25th, all that existed of Telegraph Townhomes phase 1C was a blank concrete foundation, meticulously designed building plans, and a lot of anticipation for the largest build event we’ve ever attempted at Habitat Whatcom.


In the following weeks, more than 180 volunteers from local businesses and organizations in Whatcom County and beyond joined our regular volunteer crew to participate in our Home Builders Blitz. Over the course of just a dozen build days, the blank footprint of Telegraph Townhomes 1C became a fully-framed, roofed, two-story structure including four townhomes. 

This exciting pace of construction was unlike any project we’ve had at our affiliate before.

a group of habitat for humanity construction volunteers smile in the rain as they frame a wall
Two volunteers at the Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County Blitz Build smile at the camera as they paint wooden boards

I wish we had a way to bottle the buzz that was on the build site every day of the Blitz Build,” said our Construction Director, Chris vanStaalduinen. “Whether in a drenching rain or the warm spring sun, the energy onsite was contagious.” 

 

Each day of the Blitz, the teams arrived, joined the safety meeting, and got right to work on whatever tasks we had that day. Guided by the leadership of our construction staff and long-time volunteers, even those who were picking up a hammer for the first time helped make a meaningful impact. From the Habitat for Humanity in Clallam County volunteers who joined us to raise the first wall, to the industry professionals who donated their time and expertise to help us secure the roof (watch a timelapse here), it was clear that everyone onsite recognized the importance of the work we were accomplishing together.

“It makes me feel proud to be part of such a generous community,” says Chris, “It is great to see volunteers, sponsors, and supporters come together to help start making sure everyone in our community has a decent, affordable place to live.”

Beyond the help of volunteers, this event was a success thanks to the many local businesses who sponsored the Blitz by providing everything from monetary donations to daily morale-boosting lunches. You can view a full list of the local businesses and organizations who sponsored us here

Coordinating this long list of sponsors along with 180+ volunteers and an active construction site was a lot of work, but a welcome challenge for the Whatcom Habitat crew. Our volunteer coordinator, Tralayna Haslett, and our Events and Donor Relations Manager, Kelli Fulton, along with Chris and the rest of his construction crew truly pulled off an incredible feat in coordinating an event of this magnitude for the first time.

Many lessons were learned, but ultimately we were shown that our affiliate is capable of achieving incredible things through more events like this in the future. It is a promising sign of what is to come at Habitat Whatcom as we work to meet the growing need for affordable housing in this community.

“The need for affordable housing has never been greater,” says Chris, “and the community coming together to help us frame these four houses so quickly helps us achieve our immediate goals of building 6 homes a year, and lays the groundwork for doubling that goal, and then doubling it again.” 

There is still a lot of work to be done at Telegraph Townhomes Phase 1C, but with the boost we got from the Blitz Build, we’re on track for these next four units of affordable housing to be ready for four Whatcom County families to move into as early as December of this year.

We’re looking forward to building on the success of our Telegraph Townhomes Home Builders Blitz with a second Blitz Build at Mateo Meadows this fall. If you’d like to join in on the fun and make a positive impact in your community, you can show your interest by filling out this form.

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The Telegraph Townhomes development is a partnership project between Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County, Kulshan Community Land Trust, and the Whatcom Community Foundation

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