Brewers and Braun back Build-A-Thon
Habitat for Humanity's Build-A-Thon teams up with Brewers Community Foundation
MILWAUKEE - This week, Habitat for Humanity is building ten homes, each will go to a grateful family in Milwaukee. And this year's Build-A-Thon is backed by some star slugging power.
Milwaukee mom Marquitta Smith hasn't had it easy she tells TODAY'S TMJ4's Jesse Ritka, "As a child, a lot of moves, a lot of rough times."
But more than 250 Habitat for Humanity volunteers are raising the walls to a four bedroom house Marquitta and her three children will live in, changing her luck around, "It means the world to me, it's a new life for my children and it's just amazing," Smith exclaims.
Veteran volunteers like Todd Mortenson love lending a helping hand year after year because they know the impact it has on the future owners, "It's more of a leg up than a hand out, you're trying to help out a home owner, they're paying a mortgage, their mortgage goes on to pay for more habitat houses."
It's a cycle Marquitta is excited to be a part of, and she's getting some rather unusual help on her house. The World Famous Klement's Racing Sausages were helping out because the Brewers have a hand in this year's Build-A-Thon.
Marquitta says her new home will be unique, "It's actually the Ryan Braun house from the Brewers and I'm the owner." The Brewers Community Foundation and Ryan Braun teamed up to donate $50,000 to help build Smith's house.
Since the Brewers are in New York to play the Mets, Ryan Braun couldn't make it to the build today, but Brewers Community Foundation Executive Director Cecelia Gore says Braun wanted to make a difference in the Milwaukee area. "He's had a long standing interest in building homes and he gets how effective the programs are and how much of an impact it has on an individual and a community," Gore explains.
Braun's been involved with Habitat for Humanity since 2007 when he donated his National League 'Rookie of the Year' bonus to Habitat for Humanity International.
Former Brewer Larry Hisle joined volunteers today for the five day build and was impressed with the power behind what will be 8,000 hours of volunteer work to build the 10 new houses. "If I could have swung the baseball bat as well as you men swing the hammer, I'd have been in the hall of fame," Hisle says.
And soon Marquitta will have a hall and a home to call her own. Habitat for Humanity expects the entire house to be completed in eight months, Marquitta hopes she can move in by Christmas.