Blazing sun and temperatures hovering near 100 degrees did not slow Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity volunteers Friday morning.
In just 90 minutes, builders erected 25 walls, creating the skeleton of a three-bedroom house at 327 Gramercy Ave. in West Toledo. Although frequent water breaks in the shade punctuated their work, volunteers expected to complete the frame of the roof and walls that afternoon, putting them on track to finish the house by the end of the month.
"It's definitely warm," said Laureen Knueven, a volunteer from Lourdes University. She has participated in projects in Texas, Alabama, and Florida, but said Toledo's heat wave made for the hottest working conditions.
"A lot of us lost power last night, so we're all thinking, 'Ugh, I'm not going home to air conditioning tonight.' We're spoiled, though," she said.
The house is being built for Roxanne Montez and her 11-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. And it will have air conditioning, Ms. Knueven said.
Ms. Montez decided to apply for a Habitat home more than two years ago, after receiving an email about Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity from a friend.
"I saw the application and thought, 'What's the worst that can happen? They say no?' I knew that I wanted to start the process of home ownership, but I really didn't know where to start," recalled Ms. Montez.
Like all applicants, Ms. Montez had to demonstrate need, the ability to pay for a home, and willingness to cooperate with Habitat for Humanity.
Now, as per Habitat policy, she must attend monthly meetings and a financial management course and contribute 250 hours of "sweat equity" volunteer work.
Volunteers said that Ms. Montez has been a regular at the construction site,and that she intends to bring her daughter to help paint walls when the time comes.
Most of the 25 volunteers who were constructing those walls on Friday -- hoisting precut boards and hammering them into place -- are affiliated with Lourdes University, Sylvania United Church of Christ, and The Temple-Congregation Shomer Emunim in Sylvania.
The build is part of a community service partnership between the Temple and United Church of Christ that has included four previous Habitat for Humanity projects and a tutoring program at McKinley Elementary School.
Kathy Tashima, United Church of Christ's volunteer organizer, said that 80 members of her congregation have volunteered on this build, primarily by greeting, making food for workers, and helping with construction.
For Ms. Montez, working with those volunteers is the best part of Habitat for Humanity.
"The weather is unbearable, but they're all still out there, taking time out of their busy schedules to help out. They don't know me from one of the neighbors, but they still come and volunteer," she said.
Contact Jessica Shor at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6516.