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Habitat-Roanoke Hosts 256 Volunteers on Terrific Tuesday

Habitat-Roanoke was at full throttle June 25th with a total of 256 volunteers in the field hammering away at the affordable housing crisis.

In Salem, 112 Roanoke College freshman were busy grinding out the third work day on the 19th Annual R House.  The house, which is being built in two sections in a parking lot on the Roanoke College campus, will be moved to Bullitt Avenue in Roanoke once it is finished.  

“As an eight-year old I was on a job site building for Habitat, and I have been doing it ever since,” said Jesse Griffin, Director of Student Engagement at Roanoke College. Griffin has been the driving force behind the annual event.  Habitat is something that is in his blood as his parents helped start a Habitat affiliate in South Carolina when he was young, service that has remained engrained in him to this day.

“I believe really strongly in the college’s mission to service, and I really believe in learning by doing,” Griffin said.

Griffin is not alone. The students were supported by 10 upper class Service Club students, 14 Builders Club members, plus a handful of Habitat staff. Their job: to get the walls up on the two-story house in time for the final workday scheduled for June 28.


By that time, more than 500 Roanoke College freshman will have contributed to the project. Once completed, the house will be loaded onto a truck and shipped to Roanoke where it will be assembled and finished on a permanent lot.

At the same time Roanoke College was buzzing with activity, three locations in Roanoke City were also getting the royal treatment from a youth-led mission group called Woods Work.

This group, comprised of 80 young people and 40 adult chaperones, split up into three different groups. 

One group. with the younger volunteers, helped out at the ReStore and rebuilt the Habitat LOVE sign. The older volunteers spent five hard workdays, which culminated on Terrific Tuesday, installing the floor, adding the walls and then raising the roof on two different projects Habitat-Roanoke is working on in partnership with Blue Ridge Independent Living.

“This partnership with Blue Ridge Independent Living is a first for Habitat-Roanoke, as we are building the homes with the grant funds, and then turning them over to be managed by our partner non-profit,” said Habitat-Roanoke Director of Development, David Tate.


The Woods Work program is a 39-year old youth-run mission program based out of Maryland.  Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church sponsors Woods Work, which attracts teens from a variety of congregations.  This year’s trip to Roanoke, a first for Woods Work, drew 12 teens from Florida with the rest coming from the Severna Park area of Maryland. In all, Woods Work contributed 4,860 volunteer hours over a five day period.  An absolutely incredible tally! 

While Habitat-Roanoke cannot say for sure, the 265 total volunteers on June 25 may just be the most volunteers in a single day in our history!