Habitat aims big for 2017

Published 4:38 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Farmville Area Habitat for Humanity has big goals for the new year with plans already established to help several surrounding counties, including Charlotte.

Habitat recently finished a large fundraising effort and locked in some new homeowners for 2017, according to Community Outreach Director Sam Rabon.

Giving Tuesday was held the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. The day included a Facebook event Habitat called “The 12 Hours of Giving.” Beginning at 9 a.m., the organization conducted a Facebook Live interview at the beginning of each hour for 12 hours.

“We talked with homeowners, volunteers and board members,” Rabon said.

He said participants raised almost $2,000 that day while also raising awareness for Habitat for Humanity. Combined, the videos drew more than 5,000 views, Rabon said.

According to a press release, 2017 is set to be Farmville Habitat’s biggest year since it began 26 years ago.

This is for many reasons, according to Rabon.

“Our Charlotte County leadership team, (which) started just over a year ago, has worked very hard to lay the foundation for a solid program in that county,” he said as an example.

In addition, the Buckingham County leadership group is doing a “great job” to both get the community excited and to prepare for back-to-back projects coming up, he said.

“Our partnership with USDA Rural Development has continued to grow and allows for us to build with even more families,” Rabon said.

Habitat has recently taken ownership of a home in Charlotte Court House, which has sat vacant for years.

After the house was inspected by a partnering contractor, it was decided that a home rehabilitation project would be successful on the building. Over coming months, a group of both professionals and volunteers will assist the new homeowners in transforming the house into a safe, decent and affordable home.

The new owners will take homeowner education classes and pay an affordable monthly mortgage along with the required manual labor.

He said the organization’s staff has expanded, making room for Rabon’s position, due in part to a Capacity Building grant received this year.

“Of course, none of this would be possible without the continued commitment of volunteers and donors who embrace the simple belief that everyone deserves a decent place to live,” Rabon said.

He said the holidays are a reminder of family and traditions. “The thought of having a place to call their own where a lifetime of family gatherings can now occur and where new traditions can be formed provides a strength and stability for families which can have a positive effect.”

Several families are celebrating the promise of a new home in 2017 or the excitement of having just moved into a new house, thanks to Habitat.

“For all of our homeowners there is a great financial impact as they are now able to save more money each month due to their affordable mortgage and affordable utility bills that come with owning an energy-efficient home,” Rabon said.

He said new homeowners take great pride in their homes because they helped build them with their own hands.

“Many see it as a blessing and want to continue to partner with Habitat as volunteers and ambassadors in order to help others realize the same dream they did,” he said.

For more information on Habitat, visit www.farmvillehabitat.org or call (434) 394-3001.