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Pope Francis Inspires Volunteers To Build Home For Army Sergeant In Yonkers

YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Pope Francis is touching hearts with his message of unity and service, and many are already trying to make a difference.

The pope's visit to New York has motivated hundreds of volunteers to help Habitat for Humanity refurbish a formerly foreclosed home in Yonkers. It will be called "The Pope Francis House."

"He has a commitment to help the poor, help those of lower income needs, that's our mission, we call it the theology of the hammer," Jim Killoran, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Westchester, tld CBS2's Mark Morgan. "And to help rebuild New York where everyone can go to bed at night in a simple, decent home."

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For these volunteers, their efforts are fueled by the satisfaction of doing something good for others.

"I find it rewarding and there's always something new to do and seeing a family moving into a house is rewarding in itself," said volunteer Donald O'Connell of Riverdale.

"Somebody gave me a break along the way, I'm trying to give somebody else a break by helping out here," said volunteer Rich Rodriguez of Yonkers. "It's one step at a time, each generation helps the next generation."

And in this case, the next generation is U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Velasquez, who will move into the house with his family when it's completed.

"Each day I walk in and each day I walk out it just keeps me humble and let's me know how blessed I am and what a blessing Habitat is," Velasquez said.

Pope Francis may setting foot on U.S soil  for the first time,  but his message is already being heard loud and clear.

The house is expected to be complete in about a year.

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