The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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October 8, 2012

Joplin houses touched by many hands

Globe effort will follow the stories behind typical Habitat home

JOPLIN, Mo. — Each of the 47 houses now under construction by the Joplin chapter of Habitat for Humanity has been touched by many hands.

There are the behind-the-scenes efforts to organize golf tournaments and auctions to raise money. There are the volunteer workers who cut lumber and drywall, pound nails and mix concrete. There are the local business owners and corporate sponsors who provide discounts and donations on everything from appliances to plumbing fixtures.

The house at 2630 S. Wall Ave. is no different.

Every piece, from the studs that were raised Monday to the final touch of landscaping, and every volunteer and business sponsor has a story to tell.

Scott Clayton, executive director of the local Habitat chapter, said that by the time it is finished, hundreds of people will have left their mark on the house in some way, ranging from the sweat mixed with mortar to the messages of hope that volunteers scribbled on the framing.

For the duration, the Globe will use a comprehensive approach involving new media, such as Twitter and Instagram, along with traditional print stories and video, to chronicle the house’s construction and the varied stories behind it.

Volunteers at the construction site are invited to use their smartphones to capture images and share them using Instagram, and to tweet updates (in both cases, using the hashtag #2630Wall).

Globe photographer Roger Nomer and staff writer Andra Bryan Stefanoni will do likewise, while Web producer Alexandra Nicolas will capture video, so that readers and viewers across the nation can track the home’s progress.

Each Sunday, the Globe will provide a feature and photo about the project — stories of the family that will one day call 2630 S. Wall Ave. its home, the people who donated the lot, the volunteers providing the labor, and the businesses and sponsors underwriting the cost.

When it’s all said and done, the Globe will present a look back at the project, from the ground up, both in print and online.

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