A hundred volunteers rally to build walls for a future Habitat for Humanity home in Detroit

The 2nd Annual BuildUp was a huge success

DETROIT (WXYZ) - We want to give a shout out to the 100 volunteers from all over metro Detroit who came out Saturday, October 6 for our Second annual Detroit 2020 Habitat BuildUp.  It was a wall-building event for a future Habitat for Humanity home on Detroit's east side.  And it wasn't just about building walls, it was also about rebuilding a community.

It was a sunny, crisp Saturday morning when volunteers and Channel 7 staffers grabbed our hammers, nails and got busy for a good cause.

Ryan Sieja came with the Wayne State University student veterans organization. 

"I grew up around this neighborhood. And for me, driving down here every day, you want to do what you can to help out rather than hurt," said Sieja.

Julia Penn is a Habitat regular.  

"I feel it's necessary for everybody who can to give back.  You know, I feel blessed, and I want to give back," explained Penn.

First-time volunteers also joined in the project.

Ricardo Donald from Belleville said -- thanks to the BuildUp -- he learned how to build windows and doors.

Shelly Zicherman of West Bloomfield hammered her first nail during the event.

Of course, construction experts were there to guide the volunteers.

All the wood was graciously donated by Mans Lumber and Millwork .  Owner Doug Mans and his team delivered the lumber a few days in advance.

The walls made from that wood will end up in a Habitat home in the Morningside neighborhood of Detroit. 

Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Vincent Tilford says Morningside is where the organization has made a commitment to build 100 homes. 

"We've actually extended that commitment.  We're going to be doing more now than just building new homes.  We're also going to be rehabbing.  It's part of our Leaders to Rebuild Detroit initiative," said Tilford.

The BuildUp was not just about hammering.  We also gave our volunteers a tour of the Morningside neighborhood's progress. 

Detroit Bus Company donated the transportation.  Bill Webster said the company is proud to assist.

"It's a great organization with a great cause, and we love to be able to offer to help," said Webster.

Our Dave Lewallen led the tour.  He told the volunteers, "You'll see how the work you're doing today is ultimately transforming for a family."

Volunteers even had a chance to walk inside one of the homes.

Mike Murri, WXYZ Station Manager said, "You can see what you can do by getting involved and making a difference.  You know Detroit 2020 is all about being a catalyst for change in the city.  I mean, how can people make a difference? Unify, inspire, act.  This is acting at its greatest."

The BuildUp really was a team effort.  T-shirts were donated by Get-In-Gear Promotions .  Lunch and refreshments donated by Shields Pizza of Southfield , Vince and Joe's Gourmet Market and Biggby Coffee .

The day was capped off with volunteers signing the walls and wishing the future homeowners happiness.

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