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Big clean up projecy Saturday for Habitat

Anyone searching for a worthwhile project to participate in on”National Make A Difference Day” can find plenty of opportunitiesSaturday at the corner of Grenn and Turner Streets inBrookhaven.

The area, which is littered with bottles, tires, bags and othertrash, will be the site of a major clean up project as Habitat forHumanity of Lincoln County prepares to clear the area for futurehouses.

“We hope to eventually put four Habitat houses on the property,”said Nanette Laster, president of Habitat for Humanity of LincolnCounty, a non-profit Christian housing ministry.

The first step in preparing the property will be Saturday’sclean up, which begins at 8 a.m. and lasts until about 4 p.m.

“We’ve got to get it cleaned up so we know exactly what we’vegot,” said Laster.

Volunteers are needed to pick up the unsightly trash that haspiled up along the perimeter of the property.

Churches and civic organizations, such as the Girl Scouts, havealready expressed an interest in helping pick up the trashSaturday, but because of the tremendous amount of debris, more helpis needed, said Laster.

She encourages everyone to come and assist in the effort. Taskswill be available for almost all ages, and most don’t require anyskill, just a helping hand.

“Anybody who wants to come out and work Saturday will havesomething to do,” she said.

Some of the other activities planned for the clean up dayconsist of clearing some of the brush and small trees growing onthe vacant property.

“We need some chainsaws and experienced chainsaw operators,”said Laster.

Other tools volunteers can bring include clippers, hedgetrimmers, wood chippers, rakes, wheel barrows and shovels. Largegarbage bags are also needed for trash.

Volunteers are encouraged to wear long sleeves, long pants,protective shoes and gloves.

“I’d also recommend a lot of insect repellent,” Laster said.

Lunch and refreshments will also be provided.

“First Methodist Church of Brookhaven will provide lunch, but ifsomebody would like to bring snacks for morning or afternoon, itwould be greatly appreciated,” said Laster.

Volunteers should park vehicles in the parking lot across fromthe Alexander Junior High Band Hall. Volunteers should also sign inat a table that will be set up in the parking lot Saturday.

“We want to keep a good record of everyone who helps,” Lastersaid.

Donations to help with the expense of purchasing the propertymay be sent to Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln County, P.O. Box618, Brookhaven, MS 39602-0618, or made at State Bank.

Habitat for Humanity builds simple, decent houses throughvolunteer labor and donations. Habitat houses are sold to partnerfamilies, who are selected by a committee.

Habitat homeowners must pay a monthly mortgage on a no-interestloan as well as participate in the construction of their house andother Habitat houses.

Habitat’s mission is to provide decent shelter for those in needand hopefully eliminate poverty housing.

Two Habitat houses have already been built in Brookhaven overthe last few years, and another should begin in 2001.

Habitat is also considering applications for a part-timeexecutive director position.

“We received more applications than we expected,” Laster said.”Hopefully, we will have the slot filled by the first of the year.We hope that Habitat is now strong enough to grow and accomplishmore in Brookhaven and Lincoln County.

For more information about Habitat, contact Nanette Laster at833-6961, ext. 24, or at 835-1328 after 5 p.m.