Once again, we’re building. I can’t imagine that there is anyone in this room who is unaware of this congregation’s long and seminal relationship with the Avery County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. It largely exists because of the efforts of one of our deceased members, the Reverend Barrett Gilmer. We have a crew of men who work diligently year-round helping to build these homes, at the rate, generally, of approximately three per year. Last year, for the second time, we participated in a collaborative effort among the Presbyterian Churches in Avery County to sponsor and build a home, which was recently dedicated.
We’re going to do it again.
Once again we have a commitment from the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Charlotte to provide substantial funding, as well as a work crew of 27 people coming the first week in September. We have commitments from Arbor Dale, Crossnore, Newland and Fletcher Presbyterian Churches for help with labor, lunches and funds. Building a sponsored home like this
costs $87,000, of which Habitat provides $30,000. That leaves us responsible for $57,000. Since this is a project that has arisen well after our budget was set, there is no money in our current revenue stream to pay for this. Last year we raised $10,000. We hope to do that again.
In order for a project like this to be truly successful, several things have to happen. Obviously, we need to get the home built expeditiously, and get it paid for. Additionally, though, there is something I think we need to get out of it. If this is a truly collaborative effort, then in the course of this process we should be working with, and getting to know, some of our fellow Presbyterians in Avery County, whether we’re actually building, providing meals or helping with the planning and logistics. We’ve not always been successful in this. In order to try to be certain this occurs this time, we’re going to have a coordinator to keep each of the congregations informed about progress, needs and schedules. Fortunately, we’ve been able to hit a home run here. The person who has agreed to assume this responsibility, as well as actively participating in the construction, is McCoy Franklin. We simply couldn’t have found a better choice.
This is another example of our system of benevolences doing what many of us think it does best – reaching out to those in our midst who are most in need. The mother in the family selected for this home is a graduate of the Crosnore School. As I hope you know, these homes aren’t free to the recipient families. They, along with their families and friends, contribute a very substantial number of hours working on other Habitat homes, before they qualify for one of their own. After taking ownership they do enjoy a very favorable mortgage, but are required to pay off that mortgage over then next twenty years.
Habitat is fond of saying that they provide a “Hand Up”, not a “Hand Out”.
That is what the hands of God do, and we are those hands.