The Grumpy Old Men

Daily Point of Light # 1296 Jan 21, 1999

The Grumpy Old Men form the backbone of the Wabash Valley Habitat for Humanity home building program in Terra Haute, IN. This group builds low-cost, affordable homes for deserving families through volunteer labor and fund-raising efforts. The men in the group are all retired from a variety of professions.

The volunteer labor of the Grumpy Old Men on a house begins with site preparation and installing the foundation. They frame houses, build and install trusses, attach roof decking, install insulation, windows, doors, fixtures and wiring. These volunteers do all the tasks, big and small, required in building a home. While churches and various service organizations also assist with building activities on Saturdays, the "Grumpies," as they are affectionately called, work a minimum of two days each week. The Grumpy Old Men work year round enduring all seasons and any weather. In addition to the home building efforts, two of the Grumpies build outdoor storage sheds that are sold to raise funds for the Habitat for Humanity program.

The labor donated by the men enables Habitat to sell a home for basically the cost of construction materials. Thus, a house that on the open market would cost $70,000 can be sold to a recipient family for approximately $35,000.

To date, 21 homes have been built and two more are in progress. In addition, the Grumpy Old Men are now completing a benefit home that will be sold on the open market. Because of the donated labor in this home, it will be an important fundraiser for the Wabash Valley Habitat program.