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Georgia’s ABC Lends MUST Ministries Helping Hand

Wed June 23, 2004 - Southeast Edition

Even in America, getting through the day can be a bitter struggle for many. MUST Ministries was created to raise awareness about poverty and its causes across Metro Atlanta.

It’s a tough job and MUST is one of those often little-noticed organizations that help struggling families and individuals take a step back and regain their financial footing.

Recently, the Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) of Georgia volunteered to help make MUST Ministries’ job a little easier by applying the organization’s construction skills to some much needed projects around MUST’s Marietta facilities.

With a task force of approximately 20 construction workers and industry professionals, the team corrected drainage problems at the site, refurbished an on-site playground and fixed up a donated job trailer to augment MUST’s free medical clinic.

“We learned that a small trailer where free medical serves are offered was inadequate to accommodate the crowds waiting for treatment,” said ABC Community Involvement Chairman Sam Stiteler. “The volunteer doctors and nurses from nearby Kennestone Hospital lacked sufficient private examination space and people were forced to stand outside in the cold and rain waiting for treatment.”

Over a couple weekends, the association, through its Community Involvement Committee and its Future Leaders auxiliary, donated their skills to help alleviate some of those problems.

First, the association rounded up an old job trailer that provided the needed space. While one crew worked to upgrade and install that unit next to the facility’s existing trailer, another group addressed some of the drainage issues that also plagued the site.

Volunteers dug a drainage ditch to catch rain runoff, complete with stone and a perforated pipe to route moisture away from the property, eliminating a standing water problem.

Between the two trailers, ABC volunteers also constructed a walkway, complete with a roof, stairs and handicap ramp, to allow weather-proof access from one unit to the other.

Additionally, a nearby playground was renovated with fresh mulch and a rebuilt swing set so children could play more safely.

This is not the ABC of Georgia’s first connection with the Marietta-based charity. Last year, the ABC Community Involvement Committee also made financial and in-kind donations to MUST’s food ministry program.

ABC of Georgia supports the merit shop philosophy of open competition and free enterprise and represents 400 construction-related firms –– general contractors, subcontractors, specialty contractors, suppliers and industry professionals. The statewide organization is one of 80 chapters of the National Associated Builders and Contractors based in Washington, D.C. The organization represents more than 23,000 general and specialty contractors, suppliers and associate members. Fortune Magazine recently named ABC to its list of top 50 most influential trade associations in the United States.