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RVers lend their experience to help those in need of housing

Bob Hammer and Tony Laird, volunteer home builders. Daily Journal

Volunteering is something RVers do, and for the past two weeks, Bob Hammer and Tony Laird have been at the site of Habitat for Humanity of the North Carolina Sandhills Women Build, completing some of the more complex portions of a home for a family in need of housing.

They are part of a group of elders who travel around the country in RVs, volunteering their years of construction experience to help those in need of housing, reported the Richmond County Daily Journal.

They’re made up of men and women as old as 89, and among nine members at the site of the future home of the Pittman family on Curtis Avenue, they put in an estimated 480 hours of labor, according to Bob Birch, a new volunteer with this particular group, though he has been a member of the parent organization, the RV Caravaners, since 2011.

Project supervisor Tony Laird said the group was called in to help make sure the Women Build stayed on schedule and under budget. The women made food for the RVers, and will return to the site in the coming days to finish the details.

On Friday, a smaller group of RVers – all in their 60s – were up on the roof or on their hands and knees working deep into the lingering fall heat with sawdust sticking to their exposed skin.

Hammer is in his ninth year with this branch of the RVers. He said he left his job on an organization’s board in New York state because “I just want to build.”

“All through my life, if I couldn’t afford something, I wanted to learn (how to make it or do it myself),” Hammer said. “Every time I needed help, God put someone in front of me. Now that I’m free to roam, I want to give back.”

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