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December 24, 2006

Christmas in America – A Montana House Raising

Posted in: Main

HousingraisinginmontanaWhile the world tends to only report that bad, I found this wonderful story about a town rallying around a family who lost their house in a fire three weeks ago. Now they have new home and a new life.

Angels descended on Ken and Jodi Gardner’s piece of paradise last weekend, clad in Carhartt coveralls and tool belts.

They came to build not just a house but a home, to replace what the Gardner family lost three weeks ago in a fire.

The old-fashioned house-raising began at 7:30 a.m. last Friday. By noon, around 50 people were cutting lumber, setting beams and standing interior walls.

Amid the humming generators, buzzing saws and the THWACK! of nail guns, the volunteer construction crews scurried about like a fast-forward version of the popular television show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

By noon Monday, after about 40 hours of work, the walls were painted, the interior doors were hung and the floors were being swept in anticipation of the arrival of the first load of furniture.

“We have beds with drawers underneath them for the kids, and a crib that somebody got for their little girl and she never even slept in it,” Jodi Gardner said with a shy smile, an air of disbelief still hanging around her. “I had four couches to choose from — people donated 11, and not one was orange flowered. Somebody donated an oak table that seats six, and someone else donated six oak chairs.”  via the Helena Independent Record.

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