Habitat for Humanity conference and work projects in Talladega

Habitat for Humanity and Americorps members from across the country revitalized a Talladega neighborhood Thursday.{} They made exterior improvements to about a dozen homes on Isbell Circle.

Teresa Bradley moved in about 18 years ago.{} Her house was the second built{}by the Talladega affiliate of Habitat for Humanity.{} Since then, the volunteer construction organization{}built four more houses on the street.

Bradley was thrilled when she learned that workers planned to return, to put a new coat of paint on her house and make repairs to her front porch and steps.

"I am just really grateful that they're here. {}I am," Bradley said.

"I think it's awesome, for real.{} I like doing stuff like this because everybody needs help some time or another.{} It doesn't matter who they are.{} In some way you're going to always need help," she said.

The dozens of participants in the service day are among 400 Americorps members who came to Talladega for the sixth annual Habitat for Humanity National Service Leadership Conference, at Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center.

The conference also celebrates the 20th anniversary of Americorps.{} Peter Rumsey, the Director of National Service for Habitat, said this week's participants came from about 110 communities in 36 states.

"We've brought them all together in Talladega for a week of learning, building their relationships, developing their leadership skills, so they can go back into their communities and be leaders for the cause of affordable housing," Rumsey said.

The members who worked on Bradley's house traveled from Kentucky, Ohio, Texas, North Carolina, and West Virginia.

Jamie Hofmeister-Cline works for Americorps through "Our Towns Habitat for Humanity", which serves four North Carolina communities outside of Charlotte. She said this week helped re-energize her and remind her why she is so motivated to serve others.

"Coming together in these national conferences, these build-a-thons, and neighborhood revitalization initiatives and projects, I think bring that all home again, that we can look out for each other if we all do it together," Hofmeister-Cline said.

William Dunton spent the past year working for Habitat for Humanity in the Denver area. He signed up for a second year-long commitment and is now working on a big community project in Fort Worth.

"Really being able to help [people]and really see, and actually hear their story and how their life has changed around, it really helps me humble myself," Dunton said.

Habitat AmeriCorps members anticipate they will{}serve more than 1,500 families over the next year, providing more than 650,000 hours of service and engaging more than 300,000 volunteers.

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