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Colts help Indianapolis family build their first house

Charles and Shonda McMillan had some help from the Colts' coaching staff as they started work on their Habitat for Humanity build.

INDIANAPOLIS — Several Indianapolis Colts players and their coaches were busy with some team-building — and homebuilding — at the team's practice facility Friday.

They traded helmets and shoulder pads for hammers and nails as they helped an Indianapolis family build their first-ever home.

Charles and Shonda McMillen are finally living out their dreams of having their own place.

"My kids have a place to actually call a house, a home, I should say. Not just a house that we're renting or living at, but an actual home that they could do what they want to their room or have whatnot ... security, all that stuff," Charles said.

The McMillans will each put in over 200 hours in sweat equity and attend classes on home ownership. Friday, they got a head start with help from the Colts.

"To see the look on the face of the family, that they're getting their forever home built. The work they had to put in, their gratefulness, to know that it's going to make a huge difference for their family, you know, them given a chance to have real joy," said Colts general manager Chris Ballard, who helped with the Habitat for Humanity build.

The entire coaching staff showed up to lend a hand. Even Reggie Wayne was there at sunrise to help.

"This is my first time building a house. The last time I dealt with this type of wood was in high school — wood shop. It feels like I'm in school all over again. But I do know what a two-by-four is, I do know what a two-by-six is," Wayne said.

New head coach Shane Steichen was swinging away with a hammer, too, but admits he's good at building football teams, but not homes.

"I think it's awesome to give back to the community and, obviously, the McMillens, this is their first home and to be able to build it right here on site at the Colts organization is awesome. It starts at the top with the Irsay family," Steichen said.

It's the 11th year the Colts have joined with Habitat for Humanity to help dreams come true. The McMillens will be in their new place by football season.

"It's just exciting that I'm progressing in the world, not failing my family," Charles said.

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