The sounds of hammers, drills and paint scrapers filled the air this summer as Milestone AV Technologies employees took advantage of several opportunities to help with Habitat for Humanity projects around the Twin Cities Metro area.
Milestone kicked off its series of Habitat events on June 27 when 14 Milestone volunteers met in northern St. Paul, Minn., to help with A Brush With Kindness project. The program mobilizes community volunteers to help paint, landscape and make minor repairs to homes of low-income homeowners so they can continue to live in a safe, affordable and decent home. City inspectors had cited the St. Paul house for peeling paint and other needed repairs.
The temperature climbed into the mid-90s as the team worked to scrape old paint off the sides and front of the house. The homeowner worked alongside the volunteers, who had a great time making paint chips fly through the air.
"I enjoyed meeting the homeowner and hearing her story, which provided more meaning to the work that we did," said Pheng Thao, manufacturing engineer.
Milestone AV Technologies continued with a three-day build in Savage, Minn. From July 16-18, more than 30 employees helped with the construction of two homes on Hampshire Ave. S., a street that will soon have a total of five houses built by Habitat.
Volunteers spent the majority of the time constructing a new three-bedroom, two-bath house, which will soon be home to a family that moved from Morocco to Minnesota for better opportunities. After living in crowded apartments for years, they're very excited to have their own single-family home with a yard.
The Milestone group also helped with finishing touches at another house next door, which will soon be home to a family of three.
"I enjoyed working with people that were just happy to be there," said Kelly Johnson, design assurance technician. "It’s nice to see progress from people who have never built anything before. The staff is good at getting value out of each person."
The volunteers worked through a range of extreme weather conditions, from temperatures in the high 90s and a heat index over 100, to rainstorms that had volunteers running for cover, to blustery winds that sent insulation sheathing flying down the road. Even with all these elements, volunteers had a great time helping out a good cause.