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11/8/14: Raising Walls in Riverside!

11/8/14: Raising Walls in Riverside!

After two Saturdays in a row of raising walls on 8 homes in Moreno Valley we thought we would take a nice long break. On Saturday, November 1st,we all slept in and relaxed, but by next Saturday, November 8th, we were back to work!

Lumber Ready

Staff arrived at the site on the corner of 11th and Ottawa in Riverside at 6:30 am. The sun was already threatening a hot day! Volunteers from the City of Riverside, Calvary Presbyterian Church Riverside, and from Leadership Riverside Class 2012 showed up at 7 am to work alongside our partner families. Each volunteer suited up with a hammer, apron, gloves, and a construction hard hat before enjoying coffee, doughnuts, and bagels. Habitat for Humanity Riverside Executive Director (and Leadership Riverside 2012 alumni), Kathy Michalak kicked off the day with an introduction of our team leaders and partner families, and a quick safety orientation.

Safety Orientation

Habitat Executive Director Kathy Michalak led the Leadership Riverside 2012 team joined Habitat Partner family, Casey Reynolds on the corner house. Habitat partner, Stephanie Cordero, who was unable to attend her own wall raising last month, also joined the team. Stephanie exclaimed that “Habitat makes me feel blessed and feel that my family will be prosperous.”

Habitat Home Owners Casey Reynolds & Stephanie Cordero

AmeriCorps National member Joe Gonzalez led Calvary Presbyterian Church Riverside volunteers who joined Habitat partner family Andrew Ferguson on his middle home.


Habitat staffer and veteran John Wartinger led the City of Riverside volunteer team who was joined by Council Member Andy Melendrez and Habitat partner family members LaVon and Arraceion Mobley on the inside home (which also had the most shade).

City of Riverside Volunteers Council Member Andy Meledrez

It is not a wall raising without friendly competition.  Teams raced to have the first wall standing so they would be the first team released for lunch…now that is motivation! The first wall was up within minutes by Calvary Presbyterian Church Riverside! There were smiles all around at this accomplishment. Future homeowner Andrew shared “My family and I are overwhelmed with the goodness of God through the volunteers and community of people surrounding us and celebrating us as we receive this gift”.


Habitat Home Owner Andrew Ferguson

The walls were framed and raised at great speed! The Leadership Riverside 2012 group had all of their exterior walls up by 9:30 am! At this accomplishment, future homeowner Casey felt “very grateful and thankful for all the people that came out to help. Praise God!”

Leadership 2012

Board members Ken Gutierrez and Gail Zwart, along with Gail’s husband, arrived around 10 am and had the most important job of the day, preparing lunch! Teams broke for lunch around 11:00 and enjoyed some much deserved burgers, hot dogs, fresh fruit, chips and a very cold drink of soda or Gatorade. Habitat for Humanity Riverside Executive Director Kathy Michalak sent one of the staff out to buy much deserved ice cream! After lunch, fully energized volunteers went back to work and put the finishing touches on the 3 homes. After the framing was complete, volunteers wrote encouraging messages  and bible verses for the families on the walls. Shortly after 12, the middle house  announced that they had completed their home, the third home was finished soon after. As a reward for finishing first, the Calvary volunteers received a raffle ticket for our upcoming KitchenAid grill raffle. All volunteers completed their work by 12:30 pm, a record time!

1st House Up!

The Mobley family was touched by working with volunteers on their homes. LaVon shared “I am feeling excited and humbled for the blessed opportunity to build a home with my husband and to raise my family, and to be a part of our new community”. “Thank you to Habitat who give people the opportunity to own their own home” shared Arraceion.

Thank you to all of our supporters who helped make this day possible!! With your help, we have raised  walls on 11 homes in the past month. This is an amazing accomplishment considering our average home build is two to three projects a year. It is truly a blessing to see all of these volunteers and families come together as a community.

Sarah Verdusco [AmeriCorps VISTA member]

  1. Sandy Alvarez11-11-14

    Can you help me fix my mobile home every time I fix something from it people steal what I put like the window the door so I have to start All over again I need the wall from inside or paint to fix I don’t have nothing they stole all the cables from my mobile home can u please help teaching me how to do the work so I can do it

  2. Christine Morgando11-12-14

    Hi Sandy! We do have some funding, but I will need more information from you before we can continue. I’ve emailed you personally.

  3. Denise Garcia11-19-14