by Veronica Coons
The finishing touches have been completed and Saturday, after the open house was over, Carol Whiterock and her children moved into their four bedroom home in Bushton. It is the twelfth build by Rice County Habitat for Humanity, said Tom Swain, project manager.
Swain, the pastor at the First Church of God in Great Bend said the build broke ground in August, 2013. After giving a sermon about serving sacrificially on April 29, Swain said he felt a powerful call to become the project manager of the proposed build in his home town of Bushton.
The building blitz started on Sept. 26, Swain said. After the foundation was dug and poured, groups volunteered to frame and shore up the house. Days before, Swain was hard at work cutting and marking framing boards and laying them out so groups could get to work when they arrived.
Individuals and school groups, including athletes from Sterling College and a group of high school students from Nickerson helped with the 3-day blitz.
The Whiterock family helped too. The Navajo family lost their Arizona reservation home in a fire. The father, Jessie Whiterock, was working in the area as a crane operator, and felt Bushton would be a quiet, safe and wholesome place for his family to make a new start. The family qualified to become Habitat for Humanity homeowners, and put in the required sweat equity they needed to fulfill the contract. Jessie and Carol helped with the framing, and later, the whole family helped with painting the property inside and out. The kids picked the colors their bedrooms would be painted.
The home has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open concept kitchen and living room, a laundry area, and an attached garage. There is a deep crawl space in lieu of a basement. The exterior includes a paved driveway and a wide covered front porch.
Groups and companies that volunteered labor and materials to the build included Stumps Foundation, Raymond Sand, Pro Co Construction, Comfort Systems, Hoelschers city of Bushton, Hawk MFG., Sterling College Athletes, Nickerson High School, E-Z Lift Door, JB Insulation, Menards Salina, Gorton Electric, Orth Family, Whirlpool, Valspar Paint, P&G Drywall, and EFI Flooring & Tile.
Much time goes into locating a suitable lot, qualifying a recipient, lining up both funding, donations and volunteer hours to complete a Habitat build, Swain said. Bushton is one of the smaller locales Rice County Habitat for Humanity has built in.