In loving memory
Bonita Lee Keely
March 25, 1967 – December 13, 2006

Our First Build For LIFE Home
Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Bonita’s will to live is the inspiration behind Build For LIFE. From March through August 2006, scores of volunteers from around the United States had the privilege of helping to rebuild Bonita’s beautiful home. These volunteers included New York City firefighters who survived 9/11 and breast cancer survivors from Montana who drove all the way to Mississippi to help sheetrock, paint, and lay the tile floors. Bonita’s sense of humor, humility, and genuine warmth touched everyone who walked through her door.


In loving memory
Shirley Paulus
Our Second Build For LIFE Home
Diamondhead, Mississippi

Shirley was an eternal optimist with an endless smile. Having courageously fought Leukemia for a decade, this wonderful great-grandmother of 9 accepted all the volunteers into her home as though we were family. From February through April 2007, we had the privilege of helping Shirley’s family to build a new home in Mississippi to replace the one she lost in Slidell, Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina. Volunteers from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Georgia, Montana, and New York had the honor of helping to frame and roof the house, assist with the electrical rough-in, and sheetrock Shirley’s home. None of us will ever forget the emotional closing ceremony and celebration we had at Shirley’s house on March 25, 2007, when we celebrated what would have been Bonita’s 40th birthday. God bless you Shirley and best regards to Barkley.


Carmel Bufkin
Our Third Build For LIFE Home
Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Carmel and Johnny Bufkin along with their daughter Janelle and their entire family are the latest folks to give us the privilege of helping them to Build For LIFE. From February through April 2008, we were able to help Carmel and her family take their home from a slab of concrete to a completely framed and enclosed structure. One of the greatest blessings was seeing Carmel and her family enjoying their beautiful new home this past Christmas. Build For LIFE is eternally grateful to the many wonderful partners who helped us to rebuild Carmel’s home in record time including Gulf Coast Baptist Association, Mennonite Disaster Relief Services, Community Collaborations Intl., Iowa State University General Contractors of America, KEN-TENN Relief, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, and Hancock County Long Term Recovery Committee.

Vena Trosclair
Our Fourth Build for LIFE Home
Pass Christian, Mississippi

Vena Trosclair and her children, one of whom has battled brain cancer, are one of our BuildForLIFE recipients. In partnership with United Methodist Committee on Relief and Ken-Tenn Relief Team and along with many volunteers from the cancer survivor community, Build For LIFE helped the Trosclair family build a new home from the ground up. The Trosclairs have been a blessing to their community, to each other, and now to us. It is our privilege to help this deserving family to Build For LIFE.