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As sweat dripped from Christina McMillion’s forehead, she and a handful of volunteers from First Baptist Church worked together Saturday to ready the single mom’s home for siding.
“I love meeting people as they come out and help,” McMillion said. “They don’t have to be here, but they found it in their heart to volunteer, and I truly appreciate it.”
Saturday was the first official volunteer workday as part of the construction for Wilson Area Habitat for Humanity’s latest house. Armed with hammers, the volunteers worked together to wrap the house and install the insulation.
“We are right on schedule with construction,” said Ken Jones, Habitat board member and construction leader. “We have a good set of volunteers with some good workers who here for the mission. They all really understand what Habitat for Humanity is trying to do with the families.”
McMillion is required to complete a financial literacy class and 200 hours of sweat equity before buying the home with a zero-interest mortgage. If construction goes as scheduled, she will move into the home before Christmas with her two children.
Hill Construction project manager Aaron Phillips and his son, Josh, worked alongside the volunteers Saturday.
“It is very rewarding to see this from start to finish and see the happiness it gives the homeowner,” he said. “I think the sweat equity is character building for the homeowner and gives them an emotional connection to the house. There is a difference between a renter and an owner with owners taking pride in the house, keeping it clean and in order.”
McMillion said she’s eager to have a home that accommodates the special needs of Travis, her epileptic and autistic son, while providing a strong foundation for daughter Kristiani.
Despite the heat, Marla Whitley said she was happy to volunteer.
“God loves us enough to have sent his son to save us, so we should love our fellow man, especially in meeting the basic needs of life,” Whitley said. “Hopefully, in sharing God’s love as we serve as the hands and feet of Christ, others will also come to know and believe in Christ.”
Habitat for Humanity always needs volunteers. Visit wilsonhabitat.org/volunteer/ to learn more about volunteer opportunities and to sign up.
“Everybody is skilled at something,” Jones said. “We try to match the opportunities to the skills of a person. It is amazing what help you can provide with just a few hours work.”
Steve Clayton previously served on the Habitat board and has volunteered on several homes. He said he supports how the organization helps provide affordable housing for Wilsonians with limited resources.
“It is a very fulfilling way of helping when you see the person move into the house and experience the joy of homeownership with them,” he said. “It makes all the sweat and hit fingers worth it.”