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Wells Fargo lends hand in Habitat project

Rosalio Fonseca of Worthington (above) takes a ventilation chute from Diane Schettler of Wilmont Saturday at Worthington's newest Habitat for Humanity home, located at 1101 Eighth Ave. Fonseca and Schettler are employees of Wells Fargo Bank of Worthington. (Kari Lucin/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON -- The sound of hammers and the cheerful chatter of volunteers helped cut through the gloomy weather Saturday, as 14 people from Wells Fargo Bank of Worthington worked on the little Habitat for Humanity house on 1101 Eighth Ave.

"We can contribute to the community without it costing a lot," said Diane Schettler, President of Wells Fargo Bank of Worthington.

Some of the volunteers were bank employees, and others were spouses, siblings and friends of bank employees. They worked together under the direction of Dan Wagner of Dan Wagner Construction, the general contractor for the project.

The volunteers installed insulation and plastic sheeting in Worthington's third Habitat for Humanity House Saturday, sweeping out wood shavings from the walls and even climbing into the rafters to work on the ceiling.

Wells Fargo employees have volunteered at the previous two Habitat for Humanity Houses in Worthington as well, and by doing so, they helped secure funding for the projects from their company. Based on their contribution of volunteer time on the newest home, the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation will donate $5,000 to Southwestern Minnesota Habitat for Humanity for the house.

Many of the volunteers Saturday were new to the job.

"I am putting up insulation and putting plastic up," explained Shelly Spartz of Wilmont. "It's nice. It's fun on a rainy day -- giving back to the community, helping a family have a wonderful home."

Spartz has every intention of volunteering for Habitat again.

Deb Boltjes of Worthington focused on sweeping wood shavings and dust out of the bottom of the walls, beneath the insulation, to help prevent mice from moving in.

She enjoyed learning how to put up insulation, spending time with the other volunteers and being able to help out as a volunteer.

"It's a learning experience," said Wagner, the general contractor. "It's been pretty good. I'm keeping on top of things to make sure it's the way it's supposed to be, teaching and watching."

This summer, 74 volunteers have spent 386.5 hours on the Habitat for Humanity house, said Sharon Johnson, volunteer coordinator for the project, not including the time spent working on the home by the homeowner partner family.