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Interested in Building Nine Homes in West Dallas in Seven Days?

Never too early to make plans for November, especially since you need to act between July 2-11 in order to make the date. That's when Whirlpool Corporation's accepting applications for its Building Blocks Annual Community Build, during which Whirlpool and Habitat for Humanity will marshal their forces to build danged near an entire block's worth of houses -- nine, all told -- in Dallas. The program's now in its third year: The first recipient city was Nashville, where Reba McEntire showed up to chat up the event; last year, it was the Phoenix suburb of Guadalupe, where Reba McEntire showed up.

Whirlpool expects some 300 volunteers to descend in Dallas during the week of November 16-22 -- and, no doubt, Reba McEntire. Applicants will find out by August 8 whether they're invited to the big build. Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity's development coordinator, Ashley Lippert, says this morning that the houses will be built in the just-opened Greenleaf Village II, near the original 5-year-old West Dallas development at Hampton Road and I-30 in which the local affiliate helped build some 100 of the 305 homes there.

"This is some pretty serious stuff," says Lippert, who tells Unfair Park that Dallas received the bounty only after a rigorous application process through Habitat International. As for getting enough volunteers, it always happens: "Whirlpool pays for food and lodging and transportation around town for volunteers," she says, "so some people use it as a vacation and a chance to see a new city."

Kristi Bare, Dallas Area Habitat's publicist, wants to make sure I got this right. So she sends a clarification: "Whirlpool will pay for hotel accommodations, some meals and transportation to and from the hotel to build site -- but does NOT include transportation to and from the volunteer's home to Dallas."

Still, though, Reba McEntire's free. --Robert Wilonsky

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