15.6 °F

Riding to ReBuild right here on the Iron Range

Posted: 2009-05-25 14:49:45

High School Rehab Project, Virginia • Doug and Christy Gettle, Britt

Habitat address:
1515 13th Ave in Virginia
Look for an invite in September!

Doug and Christy Gettle will be riding to support the upcoming Rehab in Virginia. This will be Doug and Christy’s fifth Habitat 500. Doug is one of our affiliate’s founding board members and plays a major role in building as the chair of the Construction Committee. The upcoming Rehab will begin this fall in partnership with students and teachers from the Technical Arts classes here in the Quad Cities.

t's old, it is run down, it hasn't been taken care of, there are cracks, and it creaks and sometimes leaks. No, I am not talking about my body! (well maybe.) I am referring to an old house that Habitat NSLC has recently acquired.

Christy and I will be riding this year to raise money for this 'rehab' project. 'Rehab' is, of course, short for rehabilitation which means, according to Webster, ' to restore to a former capacity or former condition of health'. This house is in pretty bad shape and would not need rehabilitation if it had been regularly maintained. That is true of our physical bodies as well, so maybe there are parallels between this old house restoration and our riding in the Habitat 500 again this year. Metaphorically speaking, I don't want to end up like this old house.

There are some who would say that what this house needs is the wrecking ball and an unceremonious burial in the St. Louis County landfill. From a purely financial standpoint, that might be the best thing. Previous rehabilitation projects have ended up costing almost as much as building new. But this philosophy of house 'euthanasia', which is standard practice in our country, needs to change. There are other aspects to consider: restoration will save energy and demolition disposal, there will be some savings in materials for foundation and framing, and restorations often bring new volunteers and partnerships (In this case, we will be partnering with the Virginia School carpentry classes and their service learning initiative).

Actually, our goal goes beyond restoring the house to its former capacity. With new energy efficient windows, insulation, and new heating and ventilation systems, this 'old' house will perform more like a new house. Then it will need the love and care of a new family. NSLCHFH is in the process of finding a family that will be a fit for this house.


Christy and I are riding to raise money for a home for this unidentified family. This will be our fifth year riding in the Habitat 500. It is a marathon and not a sprint. Finishing well requires training and commitment and yes, even sacrifice and pain (ask my muscles about the third day!). Habitat For Humanity's mission of eliminating poverty housing in northern St. Louis County is a long term job and cannot be done without your prayer support, your financial sacrifice, and your volunteer help. Your support and encouragement is what gets us back on the bicycle each day.