Maryville High School students contribute money and manpower to Habitat build in Alcoa


(WBIR-Alcoa) Over the past dozen years, students from Maryville High School have raised more than $200,000 for Habitat for Humanity, the group that depends on volunteers to build houses.

The school has also supplied a lot of volunteers who make a big difference.

Students and adults volunteer together to build a house in Alcoa. Emily Stroud and Jerry Owens

Hammering was the sound of progress at a house on Bell Street in Alcoa.

On one recent cold morning the focus was trusses.

Some of these construction workers may look a little young. They are Maryville High School carpentry students, volunteers who show up every weekday morning at 7:00.

"It's better that being at school," Marcus Brooks said with a smile.

Marcus Brooks was just kidding. He's a senior who knows carpentry experience on the Habitat for Humanity house will be an asset.

"I'm looking at engineering. It kind of goes hand in hand. Getting hands on work in what I'm going to be designing," he said.

They learn valuable skills but they're also building a house that someone is going to live in.

Maryville High School teacher Tom Stinnett said, "We not only teach them how to do physical skills and carpentry but we also teach them how to give back to the community and how to be good neighbors."

Tom Stinnett teaches carpentry. He's made the Habitat build a big part of his curriculum.

Doug Jenkins coordinates the volunteers and supplies and schedules. He's the Habitat Construction Supervisor.

"Habitat is not just about houses it is about relationships. And there's nothing better than having retirees, men and women retirees, out here with these young high school folks passing on their experience. And them also to see how great these young folks are, hope for the future. It's just great stuff," Doug Jenkins said.

It's a great way to learn skills that will help them in future jobs and in life.

"Learn to be on time. That's always a big thing and learn to work together with others. Mister Stinnett pushes working together and team work and also cleaning up after yourself," Marcus said.

That's the practical side. There's another side too.

"They have learned to love other people and realize that it's important to be givers and not takers all the time," Tom said.

They have learned how to feel at home building a house and building relationships.

This is Maryville High School's 13th build. That is more than any other high school in the country.

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