ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — The sounds of hammers hitting walls, shovels scraping up debris, and sheetrock tumbling to the bottom of a metal container could all be heard at 702 Standish St. in Elmira, Saturday morning.

Chemung County Habitat for Humanity, along with other local organizations, gathered over 50 volunteers, over 40 of them being women, to begin renovations to a home that’s finally receiving a makeover.

The home has been owned by the CCHFH since April and will eventually be owned by a deserving recipient who has applied for it through CCHFH, has followed all of the criteria, served volunteer hours, and has done whatever else they require.

The renovations for the house on Standish Street began just after 9 a.m. on Saturday and went to noon. The volunteers were happy to be there, some working with church groups, others earning hours towards a home of their own with CCHFH, and others were there just to make themselves useful.

“I like having the time and the energy and the ability to come out and be useful,” said Debbie Todd, a retired school teacher in Elmira. “I taught politics and history for 30 years,” Todd said, “I taught a lot about civic and community participation, and I like to walk the walk,” she said, “live the example that I hoped my students would find appealing enough to want to follow,” she said.

Debbie Todd posing inside the house during the cleanup.

For roughly three hours of work, the group of volunteers was able to put a sizable dent into the demolition and cleanup of the house and surrounding property. Groups were tasked with different duties, both inside and out.

The volunteers were able to fill two large construction dumpsters with all kinds of debris, as well as, an entire trailer filled with different kinds of lawn trimmings and tree branches.

The mood and friendly as laughs and chatter could be heard in between all the clanging and banging from the tools. Friends and strangers came together for one cause and made memories that will stay with them for the foreseeable future.