Habitat for Humanity

Another house in Union County built by Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity in Union and Towns counties

April 26, 2008 - Union Towns Habitat for Humanity dedicates 7th home in Blairsville, Georgia

Habitat for Humanity in Union and Towns counties recently held a Service of Blessing for their 7th new home. Volunteers, contributors, Habitat representatives, and the new owners (the Bobby Thompson family) gathered with friends and family members to celebrate the occasion. Even Representative Charles Jenkins, with wife Bonnie, was on hand to offer congratulations and to hold the baby so mom could have a break.

President Elizabeth Lashley made introductions and welcomed everyone to the event. She thanked contributing churches, businesses, Mr. and Mrs. D. Sullivan, and others for their generosity and hard work. Pastor Dave Wesche of All Saints Lutheran Church opened the celebration with a prayer.

Joe Scerbo of Confidence United Methodist Church said, "Habitat for Humanity International has set before us a vision and a model for a mission to bring hope to others. In spite of difficulties (especially bad winter weather), we kept before us that vision which has been completed in this home today."

Habitat Representative and board member Denise Ashworth added, "To the committees and workers, we thank you for the many hours of planning and hard work that have made this home possible. Because of your commitment, this family is given a hope for the future. Thank you for that hope!"

Volunteer representative and worker coordinator Ralph Kwiatkowski said, "Because of the love first given to us in Jesus Christ, we accepted the call to share that love with others. Before us, in all we do, we hold the love of God as our model and calling. We are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this house, a gift from God."

Church relations committee leader Bobbi Tower told about another house being built in Nicaragua . "This is possible because our affiliate tithes our local funds to Habitat for Humanity International's mission around the world. As we build here in our community, we are also providing shelter for neighbors far away."

As the acknowledgements drew to a close, Pastor Wesche presented a Bible to the Thompson family, Larry Mancini presented them with the keys to their new home, the Mountain Presbyterian quilters group presented the family members with five new quilts, and the Young Harris Crop Walk organization provided a panty full of food.

Before the ceremony ended, everyone gathered at the home for a blessing. Pastor Wesche prayed, "As we recall the love that raised the money, the gifts and talents offered by many people and the new life now awaiting the Thompson family, we dedicate this home to the Glory of God. May the members of this family be filled with the grace and love of God in all they do, so that they glorify God. Amen."

A special song was written by Janeen Covell for the occasion (arrangement and instruments by Skip Collins). Part of the words are, "Love built these walls and love laid the floors. Love placed the windows and love hung the doors. So many people are sharing their time for love. It's more than a house it's a home!"

Habit projects begin with the board of directors placing ads to find a piece of land on which to build. Applications come in as members work with families to complete the paperwork. Evaluations include a review of the applicant's ability to handle the mortgage that comes with a Habitat home, and willingness to "partner" with Habitat through allotted hours of "sweat equity." (Habitat homes are not free hand-outs although mortgages are relatively small.)

Bill Logan says, "Bobby Thompson will be the owner. He and his wife have four kids so their days are already full, but he's done a bit of everything on the house. We know this house will be in good hands and that's the goal of our Habitat partnership - helping families in Union County get themselves into a good home."