About 65 volunteers from Great Escape and the area Habitat for Humanity chapter work together Friday rehabilitating a home on Birch Avenue in Lake George. The house is to be sold at a discount to a local couple that’s for years been living in a garage.
Ethel Beaty stood in front of her soon-to-be home Friday Nov. 11 and wept tears of joy as she watched 65 or so volunteers hammer on shingles, cut boards, haul sand, paint walls and hang drywall.
She said she and her husband John had been living in a garage, and for 10 years had been caretaking her mother, who recently passed away.
“This couldn’t have come at a better time — we just didn’t know what we were going to do,” she sobbed, about being recently displaced from her outbuilding abode. “This is truly a miracle.”
The volunteers she was watching were primarily Great Escape employees versed in construction skills, who had volunteered to work with a dozen or so Habitat for Humanity members to renovate a home at 88 Birch Avenue to be sold at a substantial discount to the Beaty couple.
Built in 1994, is now being rehabilitated by the area Habitat for Humanity chapter for the Beatys after a former client of the agency moved out.
Friday, the workers were installing new plumbing and electrical updates, hanging drywall, replacing floors, and totally renovating bathrooms and kitchens — as well as painting the interior, cleaning up, and replacing the roof and reconstructing a porch.
Ethel Beaty, is a bus driver for Lake George Central Schools. Her husband, a diabetic, was injured several years ago. The two are first-time homeowners.
Habitat for Humanity chapter president Priscilla Petta of Queensbury said the Beatys were selected from a group of applicants based on criteria including housing needs and how much impact the house would have on their lives. The Beaty home is the 22nd project for this chapter of Habitat for Humanity, but only the third renovation effort undertaken by the group.
The house is to be sold to the Beatys at cost — much of the materials are donated — and will be financed with a no-interest loan. She said the project was started about five weeks ago, and should be finished by the end of 2011.
For the 50 or so Great Escape employees at work on the project Friday, their effort was their third annual “Project 6 Day of Service,” conducted this year in partnership with Habitat for Humanity and United Way.
Prior projects included working at Double-H Home in the Woods Ranch in Lake Luzerne and a project for the Salvation Army, Rebecca Close of Great Escape said.
“We have a lot of employees with advanced skills, and this puts them to work to benefit a family that really needs it,” she said.
Erik Voelker of Lake George paused from hanging drywall, as dozens of people worked around him.
“It’s an honor to help out, and really make a lasting impact on someone’s life,” he said.
Fred Griffen of Pottersville added his thoughts.
“What can I say — they need help, so we’re here helping out,” he said. “I know what it’s like — my wife and I had to live in a shack for a year and a half.”
Ethel Beaty said she was impressed when the group showed up to tackle the work.
“I was breathless when I saw this huge crew arrive,” she said with tears in her eyes. “I thank them all from the deepest part of my heart and soul.”