Blood, sweat and tears

Posted on April 26, 2010 by Mary Ellen Brewington

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Volunteers hard at work hammering.

MillerCoors and St. John’s Cathedral partner to build a dream home with Knoxville Habitat for Humanity

Blitz Day, Feb. 27, was magical as over 70 volunteers from Cherokee Distributing Company, St. John’s Cathedral, MillerCoors and Knoxville Habitat for Humanity (KHFH) joined together to build a new home. It’s amazing how in just one day a structure can be raised from slab foundation to exterior walls and gables. But, there is still more work to be done.

Saturdays between Blitz Day and the end of May will give volunteers opportunities to lift, saw, nail, paint and come together in fellowship. So far there has not been any blood. Yes, there has been sweat and tears of joy for a dream coming true for Larissa Allen, future homeowner.

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The sign at the build site.

Volunteers only need compassion and a few hours to help make this lifelong dream come true for a new homeowner. Habitat for Humanity provides the building knowledge and materials. Volunteers provide the manpower.

Covenant Partners like MillerCoors and St. John’s Cathedral provide substantial financial support and leadership. Phil Watson, partnership director for Knoxville Habitat for Humanity, explains the importance of these partnerships.

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Larissa Allen (left), future homeowner, works on the build site with a volunteer.

“Covenant Partners, through their significant financial contribution as well as their enthusiastic volunteers, are the single largest contributor to each and every home that is built by Knoxville Habitat for Humanity,” Watson said. “The financial commitment accounts for approximately one-half of the building materials costs, and their volunteers’ time help keep labor costs down. The core mission and ministry of Knoxville Habitat for Humanity – ‘to provide simple, decent affordable housing for qualified low-income families in Knox County’ – could not be realized without our Covenant Partners. KHFH does not give houses to anyone; on the contrary, we sell these houses at no profit, with zero interest mortgages, and empower our program’s participants to improve their lives and the community through their homeownership. Their mortgage payments then contribute to building more homes for qualified applicants. Our Covenant Partners are the cornerstone of that process.”

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Larissa’s future home is coming together. It’s slated to be ready in early June.

Knoxville Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1985 and has since built more than 320 homes in Knox County. Qualified homeowners provide 500 hours of service working on their jobsite, attending budgeting classes and other classes related to home maintenance. The homeowners purchase their homes with a 25-year mortgage and 0% interest rate.

The new home for Allen will be completed in early June. All volunteers and Covenant Partners will mark this milestone with a dedication and celebration. For more information about volunteer opportunities with Knoxville Habitat for Humanity, visit

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