Baylor Habitat Project -- Week 3 Update

April 9, 2001

by LoAna Lopez

It was a warm work day Saturday, but several Baylor University students, faculty and staff were on hand to help install siding and doors, finish the roof and work on baseboards inside the university's Habitat for Humanity project.

In less than three weeks, Eddie and Anja Gayle will own the home located at 1008 Church Ave. It will be Waco's 61st Habitat house.

"I see this as a dream come true because I've never owned a home. In Europe, only the rich owned homes," said Eddie Gayle, a Waco native who returned to his hometown after living in Germany for 30 years.

The $32,000 project of Baylor's Habitat for Humanity chapter - a student organization - is being funded by contributions from students, faculty and staff. Faculty and staff have contributed just over half of their $16,000 pledge toward the effort and are encouraged to continue making contributions. Students have donated their share.

"The first Saturday, I just stood to the side and was looking at all the Baylor people," said Anja Gayle, a native of Germany. "I was crying because I just cannot believe it. I have never seen so many people work together."

Eddie Gayle said he, too, has been most impressed by the student workers.

"In Europe, we had satellites so we could see live television and all the violence of this younger generation," he said referring to school shootings in recent years. "But these Baylor students seem to have a special glow about them. I really enjoy talking to them. They are very pleasant."

The Gayles have a 2-year-old daughter, Seraphina, and a second child due in September. The couple is working alongside Baylor volunteers as part of Habitat's "sweat equity" requirement, in which new homeowners work on their own house as well as those of other future Habitat homeowners.

"I've really enjoyed working on the roof," Eddie Gayle said. "It's been a learning experience for me because I've only done clerical work in the past. I've never worked with a hammer so I'm surprised I've not hit my thumb yet."

To contribute financially, contact Barbara Wolff, director of payroll, at 710-8564. To sign up for one of the remaining three workdays, contact Rona Stefka, chair of the special projects committee for staff council, at 710-4881.

There will be no work on Easter weekend. Organizers still plan for a completion and dedication date of April 28.

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