Georgia Power sponsors Habitat home in Valdosta

Georgia Power employees will trade in their hard hats and rubber protective gloves for hammers and nails June 7-12 as they join forces with Habitat for Humanity International and volunteers across the state to help raise the roofs on 25 homes in Valdosta.

As part of the 2003 Jimmy Carter Work Project, 30 employees from Georgia Power’s Transmission organization and Valdosta office will work side-by-side with former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn to construct affordable, energy-efficient homes for partner families.

This year marks the second time Georgia Power has sponsored a Habitat home through the Jimmy Carter Work Project. It will be one of 92 such homes that will be built by 3,500 volunteers in Georgia and Alabama during this week-long building blitz.

“It’s been a fantastic growth experience for me, helping to build homes for people who really need them,” said Georgia Power employee David Stewart, co-house leader for the Georgia Power home in Valdosta.

Stewart, a three-time Jimmy Carter Work Project crew leader, has led teams of volunteers from 11 different countries to work sites in South Africa and South Korea. He says he finds constructing Habitat homes incredibly rewarding.

“It’s hard work because you’re putting in 12- to 14-hour days for seven days straight, but when you turn over the house keys, it’s all worth it. You see the look of joy on the partner family’s faces and have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve made new friends,” said Stewart.

Valdosta accepted Habitat for Humanity’s “21st Century Challenge” to be among the first U.S. cities to formally commit to ridding its neighborhoods of substandard housing.

When completed, the Georgia Power-sponsored home will be part of a new subdivision located in the northeast section of Valdosta, close to Valdosta High School. All of the homes in the development will be served by Georgia Power.

“We’re excited to be a partner with Habitat for Humanity International and feel honored that Valdosta was chosen this year as one of Georgia’s three Jimmy Carter Work Project sites,” said Marshall Conner, Georgia Power’s assistant to the region distribution manager in Valdosta.

“Not only does this home we’re building benefit a deserving partner family, but it also gives Georgia Power employees a sense of satisfaction that they’re giving back to the community.”

Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility, serving customers in 57,000 of the state’s 59,000 square miles. Georgia Power’s rates are more than 15 percent below the national average and its 2 million customers are in all but six of Georgia’s 159 counties.

Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. Founded by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliates in more than 3,000 communities in 87 nations have built and sold more than 125,000 homes to partner families with no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.