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The loud rattle of air hammers driving nails into wood was about the only noise in Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity’s Panel Plant. Eleven members of the Southside Regulars Crew eschewed conversation in favor of focusing on the work of building wall panels. By the end of their Tuesday volunteer shift, they had completed almost all of the panels for an entire Habitat home.

By Habitat Staff

As the weather warms up, our need for one-day volunteers on our Habitat home build and home repair projects starts to slow down. However, there are other volunteer positions in the summer months that are incredibly impactful. So let’s take a moment to highlight these incredible volunteers who keep our projects going day after day, week after week!

The first thing the South Metro regular crew will tell you is that their name is misleading as they rarely work in South Minneapolis anymore. Members have stories about memorable builds in locations throughout the 7 county metropolitan area and they jokingly claim that they work anywhere south of Duluth.

When Dick Hertel joined the South Metro regular crew in 1999 he was the youngest member but he was not the only member to have joined that year. Many of the men have been with the South Metro crew for years and there is such a fun atmosphere on site and camaraderie among the men that it is easy to see why there are so many longtime members.

 Jim Wehri, who has been with South Metro for 5 years, says he really enjoys the work and likes all the skills he has learned over the years (after learning a new skill he often goes back home to work on his own house) but the best part of being a member is getting out of the house and being with the guys.

September 21st was the day 3M had designated as its Global Volunteer Day, a day where employees are encouraged to go out into their communities to do service work. For 25 current employees, and 4 alumni, that meant spending the day helping to build townhomes in a Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity development in Cottage Grove. Other groups of 3M employees were working at different Habitat projects, or at a wide assortment of community organizations throughout the Twin Cities.

Doing good, learning skills, having fun, and keeping busy – these were the shared reasons why a group of retirees from Cargill volunteers regularly with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. On this particular volunteer day, eight men known as the Cargill Spice Regulars were at the Habitat wall panel plant in Northeast Minneapolis. Other members of the crew were doing snowbird duty in warmer climates, but that didn’t slow this team down.

Bob Sutherland has been involved with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity for many years. He first started volunteering with a group of three local churches called Tres Iglesias, which has spent the last 20 years doing a two-week build in the summer, and in recent years, added two more build days during the winter months. Through his work with Tres Iglesias and Habitat, Bob feels a personal connection with Habitat for Humanity's mission principle surrounding faith in action: “We believe that, through faith, the miniscule can be multiplied to accomplish the magnificent, and that, in faith, respectful relationships can grow among all people.”

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