Local Habitat group marks 20th anniversary


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Habitat for Humanity Champaign County Ohio (HFHCCO) has been in existence since 2000. Eleven homes have been built and are currently owned by families who have gone through the selection process as suggested by HFH International.

“We are thankful to be active in Champaign County,” said Marcia Ward, Habitat board member. “We are thankful to have the consistent support from area churches, businesses, and individuals. We were not permitted to build this year due to Covid-19 but at this time are anticipating a build for 2021 on a gifted lot provided by the village of Mechanicsburg. Families who have already applied and attended the Thrivent Selection Dinner will be considered for this home.”

Recently HFHCCO was selected by Crane Pumps and Systems, Crane Fund for Widows and Children, to receive a $10,000 donation that will be utilized on the 2021 build. “We are, of course, thankful to CEO Brian Sweeney and the great people at Crane — as well as the truly hundreds of sponsors in and around our county,” Ward said.

Countless food providers and churches supply volunteer build crews and lunch for the nine months it takes to build a Habitat home. HFHCCO shares its Mission Statement and asks all in attendance at its Home Dedication each year read the following statement aloud: “Seeking to put God’s Love into Action Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and HOPE.“

Recently the HFHCCO board voted to begin an annual Home Sweet Home Beautification Award. The first recipient was Ms. Barb Brooks and her son Daniel who live in a totally handicap-accessible home built with donations and volunteer labor. Brooks’ home at 218 Harmon Ave. is immaculate, well-manicured and maintained. This award will be presented twice a year with a homeowner eligible to win only once per year. Winners are gifted a $100 gift certificate from HFHCCO’s ReStore, a $50 gift from the Brock C. Comer Memorial Scholarship, and a gift certificate from Café Paradiso. Signage and a banner will designate the home for several months. The home selected must have natural, manicured landscaping, paint and siding in good condition, bushes and trees showing attention and care, concrete with minimal or no vegetative growth in cracks, concrete with no differential settlement, garbage cans not visible, gutters and roof in good condition, no artificial flowers, no “for sale” signs or commercial advertising signs in the yard. An outstanding home overall with an extra nice appearance is sought. Nominated homes must have owners who are current on their mortgage payments.

This milestone year has been a year of transition with no build. Habitat was recently gifted a lot at 141 Race St. in Mechanicsburg. “The plans currently are to build our 12th home on this donated land,” Ward said. “The HFHCCO board of directors is extremely appreciative to the village of Mechanicsburg for this donation. As a non-profit we are thankful to all within the county as well as beyond.” First Christian church Springboro will be creating the walls for the 12th home as well as giving a monetary donation. St. George Episcopal church in Dayton supports yearly with monetary donations as well as youth builds. Many local churches support as do individuals.

The organization has recently created a new website at HFHCCO.org and credits Ben Guenther for his expertise in setting up the new website. “If our community has questions about applying for a home, sharing donations at the ReStore at 955 N. Main Street in Urbana, our website answers those questions,” Ward said. “Our ReStore manager, Mrs. Anita Segreti, is available by phoning 937-652-2981. We are thankful for the many, many donations gifted to HFHCCO. We do ask that no donations are dropped off without prior arrangements. We are a participant in the Kroger’s Community Rewards program and can be found under YU772 if anyone might wish to part of this activity.” A small percentage of the grocery total is quarterly gifted to HFHCCO by Kroger.

“HFHCCO is also thankful for the volunteer lawn work completed on our homes,” Ward said. “We thank Logan Landscaping and Lawn for that, owner Jacob Vitt. All owners are mentored and encouraged to maintain their property to enhance the neighborhood. Often if a move is done in the winter it takes time to work the yard and prepare as expected. We are appreciative of the neighbors who assist, support, and show love to our new home owners.” HFHCCO holds the mortgage which is interest free but the home is owned by the recipient, just as if the loan were from a bank or lending institution.

All appliances purchased for the HFHCCO homes are paid for via the sale of Judith Key’s Brotherly Love Necklaces. “Ms. Key has been providing these beautiful art pieces for many, many years,” Ward said. They are now available for perusal and purchase on the new HFHCCO.org website. Individual pictures of each necklace, their price, and how to order will be shared on the website.

“Our current HFHCCO board is pleased to welcome new board member Mr. Brian Newman, Urbana,” Ward said. “President Julie Urquhart, Vice President Rev. Ray Branstiter, Secretary Tim Schneider and Treasurer/Assistant Rick Finkbine and Marge Baker are invaluable to the workings of the affiliate.” Build Chairmen are Frank Segreti and Greg Ward. Meetings are held at the ReStore on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

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Information fom Habitat for Humanity/Champaign County

Information fom Habitat for Humanity/Champaign County