More than 120 adult Rotarians from Smyrna and Murfreesboro and high school aged Rotary “Interactors” from Smyrna and La Vergne gathered recently in the parking lot of Gil’s Ace Hardware in Smyrna to create all of the plywood and 2x4 walls for a Habitat for Humanity home. 

The wood wall “panels” will be stored until the spring construction season, when they will be used to construct a home in Murfreesboro’s Habitat for Humanity Legacy Pointe subdivision, the first Habitat community in the area. 

Five homes are scheduled to be built next spring, with six homes added in the fall. The subdivision off Twin Oaks Drive, is expected to have 77 Habitat homes in 7-10 years.

“A panel build is a unique way for Habitat to bring one of our builds to our sponsor,” said Terri Schultz, Executive Director of Rutherford County Area Habitat for Humanity. “It’s an opportunity for a hundred volunteers to come out in one five-hour block, and assemble a house for the community, the homeowner and Habitat.”

The volunteer-driven panel build saves funds for Habitat. The Rotary Club of Smyrna, the Murfreesboro Breakfast Rotary, and the Murfreesboro Noon Rotary Club have a good, long-standing relationship with each other, but this is the first time they have collaborated on this type of project. 

The prospective homeowner, Makeitha Davis, was on-site swinging a hammer with her Rotary volunteer friends. The Habitat program calls for “sweat equity” from the prospective homeowners, and Davis was all smiles, working in the chilly outdoor air. 

“I’m very appreciative and very grateful that all these volunteers came out on a Saturday morning,” she said. 

Approximately 40 high school aged Rotary Interactors participated in the project, working closely with the adult volunteers.

When he brought the proposed project before the club membership, Murfreesboro Torary Club President Bill Taylor said, “They were all in for it. … We are excited about bringing all three clubs together on a community project. It’s what Rotary is all about.” 

Smyrna Rotary Club President Bobby Hopkins said, “It’s super exciting. A lot of things came together to make this thing work.”

Murfreesboro Noon Rotary Club President John Hinkle said, “It’s been a joy getting to know each other as leaders of our respective clubs. It’s been a great day. We’ve been talking all day about what we are going to do next.”

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