MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
On any given weekend, local Marines can be found helping their home-away-from-home neighbors through various volunteer activities. Last Saturday was no exception as a dozen Cherry Point Marines volunteered their time building a house with Habitat for Humanity in New Bern.
This particular type of community volunteer work happens regularly here thanks to the Single Marine Program. Every two weeks the SMP takes Marines to the build site where the service members get their hands dirty building homes for local families.
“Our commanding officer wanted us to get more involved with Habitat for Humanity,” said Sgt. Bradley A. Hoover, Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training power plant mechanic instructor. “We eventually want to work our way to building a whole house for Habitat on our own.”
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization which provides affordable housing to millions of people worldwide. Through volunteer labor and donated money and materials, Habitat for Humanity builds and rehabilitates houses.
The goal of the program is to give families affordable homes, by using volunteer efforts to build houses from the ground up. The families moving into homes must also give 250 hours of their time to help build other homes. By using volunteer work, the cost of the houses are considerably less, said James Garner, Habitat for Humanity construction supervisor.
For many years, the SMP has teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to allow Marines and Sailors a chance to get off base and volunteer their time to a worthwhile cause.
This year, CNATT Marines also partnered with the organization to help build houses. As many as 20 CNATT Marines recently took the trip to New Bern to help other Habitat for Humanity volunteers work on the current project.
Building a house takes time and patience, but the volunteers enjoy this opportunity to make a difference. Every few weeks Marines head to the build site and spend several hours hammering away.
“Every Marine who went to help out had a good time,” said Hoover. “It was a good learning experience and a great team building exercise.”