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House of honor

Jesuit Key Club of Tampa senior Trey Warnock and junior Charlie Kutt move an interior wall into place at the club’s Habitat for Humanity project to honor a sponsor’s late wife. Their club built a new house for a family with children.By now, most people know about Habitat for Humanity and the good it does for families who need homes. One Key Club took a Habitat project to a whole new level.

“In July of last year, our friend and thengovernor-elect of the Kiwanis Florida District, David Liddell, suddenly lost his wife, Nancy,” says Eileen Charette, a member of the Tampa Jesuit High School Key Club.

The Liddells had been true friends of Key Club in the Florida District and special friends to the Jesuit Key Club in Tampa because they belonged to the sponsoring Kiwanis Club of Tampa, Charette says.

The Key Clubbers wanted to make a statement about their admiration for Nancy. They decided the best way to honor her was by providing safe and permanent housing for a family with children.

The club raised $45,000, found a co-sponsor and, on April 4, 2009, held the wall-raising ceremony
in Plant City, Florida. For seven weeks, culminating with the dedication on May 16, 2009, volunteers arrived at least
twice each week to build the house, Charette says. Each day included prayer, safety talks, meal times and serious work for seven or eight hours. Jesuit Key Club members, their families, Kiwanians, Gerdau Ameristeel workers, teachers from Jesuit and local Habitat volunteers all pitched in.

What did the club learn? “Don’t consider how difficult the project is. Consider how amazing the impact will be,” Charette says. “Figure out what you’ll need, say a lot of prayers and ask for help. If the project matters, you’re going to sweat a lot.”

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