Between 500 and 800 volunteers with Habitat for Humanity will spend this week helping build 20 news houses in Cedar Rapids as part of a flood relief project. Building so many homes from the ground up all at once is a huge undertaking for the non-profit group. Luanna Geissler will be working on one of the houses, which will become her home.
Geissler says, "I’ve been waiting for this week for a good two or three months. It’s going to be very, very hectic but it’s going to be so awesome." Work is already underway on the 20-house project this morning. Jeff Capps, a spokesman for Habitat for Humanity, notes this weeklong effort comes a full year after the Cedar Rapids community was inundated by the record flooding.
Capps says, "So much of what was lost in the flood was affordable housing, so for us to be able to be a part of that solution is key." He says six of the twenty homes being constructed this week will go to flood victims while the rest will simply go to people who met Habitat’s requirements.
"It’s not just a deal where we would say, ‘We are just specifically helping one group of people.’ We wouldn’t do that normally, so this was not a case where we would do that either," Capps said. Cedar Rapids native and pro football player Kurt Warner is among the volunteers who will be helping out with the Habitat project this week.
Warner did an interview on Sunday with ESPN’s Rick Reilly at Warner’s old high school. Reilly says the interview will be part of a show that will focus on the star athlete’s coaches, families and hometown. "This town means a lot to him," Reilly says. "I think he said it really well at the end. He said, ‘You realize as you get older, it’s not about you. It’s about all the people who helped make you you.’" Warner and his wife, Brenda, will be working on the homes this week.
Reilly’s "Homecoming" episode featuring Warner will air in July.