DETROIT (WXYZ) - A year ago, 125 people gathered on Detroit's east side for the first annual Detroit 2020 Build-up.
In just one morning, they transformed piles of lumber and buckets of nails into the walls for a Habitat for Humanity home.
Those walls became the framework for the Cooper family’s brand new house.
“Oh yeah, it’s a home. It’s not a house. It’s definitely a home,” said Jamel Cooper.
Jamel, his wife Jantel, and their three children moved in about a month ago.
“We’re coming from a rented house that we had. It was a nice house, but it wasn’t ours,” Jamel explained.
The Coopers put a lot of sweat equity into this house. After working on Habitat houses for their neighbors, the couple spent hours and hours building this three-bedroom beauty.
And it all began with the walls built by Detroit 2020 and a bunch of our friends on one chilly October Saturday just a year ago.
“ Thank you! You did a good job,” said Jamel.
His wife echoed his sentiments.
“Just thank you, everybody appreciates every sweat and hammer and nail and tired. Everybody appreciated the good work, so thank you,” she added.
The work isn’t over. Jantel is making plans to personalize her bedroom.
“I can decorate it how I want, paint the walls 20 different colors if I want to. So I’m looking forward to that,” she said.
And Jamel is still pinching himself to make sure it’s all real.
“It’s like, wow, it’s an incredible feeling. Every day when I ride up, it’s like, man, that’s my house. They built this house from scratch. From the ground [up]. So it’s pretty cool to see it,” he smiled.
This year's we did is again with a BuildUp on Saturday, October 6.
Registration filled up quickly and we thank everyone who showed interested or volunteered to join us.
Registered volunteers met at the Fountain of Truth Church at 9801 Chalmers in Detroit.
The Detroit Bus Company then shuttled volunteers to the Habitat for Humanity warehouse where we built walls for a future home.
Lunch and refreshments were provided as well as tools and instruction.
For more information on volunteering for Habitat projects, click here.
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