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Habitat Happenings – Habitat seeks land for next family's home (June 17, 2015 issue)

Habitat for Humanity of Unicoi County continues in the efforts to assist families with homeownership and with a project called “A Brush with Kindness.” As we all are enjoying the onset of summer, the Habitat Board of Directors would like to be in the build cycle of a new home.
Our problem has been to find a lot that is affordable and available to the next homeowner. We are ready to introduce our next family and ready to build our next home, if only we had a place to build. Affordable land in Unicoi County is a challenge for us because we are not able to pass on to our families the cost of a lot that is too much.
If you have land and could part with a small portion to help a deserving family have a home, please let us know. We will accept donations of land, we will pay what we can afford for land, or we can do a combination of donation and payment. Our number to let us know about affordable land is 330-6357.
Habitat continues to look for qualifying families for both homeownership and “A Brush with Kindness.” The concept of homeownership is understandable, but many of you may not know about “A Brush with Kindness.” The project is designed to help families or individuals who cannot help themselves with exterior home repairs.
Such projects as painting, porches, ramps, minor exterior repairs and sprucing up the exterior of the home. A homeowner must qualify through the application process and must make a repayment of an affordable amount each month. Most projects take a week to a month to complete and the homeowner must be available to help the volunteers in whatever capacity that they are able. Habitat for Humanity of Unicoi County Family Services will evaluate and as-

sist the families who apply. One of the major factor in qualifying is the family must own their home and have homeowners insurance to qualify for “A Brush With Kindness.”
Our many thanks go out to the supportive families who gave goods and bought goods at the Habitat Yard Sale. It was a great success, thanks to all of you and the many volunteers who helped us set up, sell and put things away when it rained. Habitat’s Fund Raising Chair, Rene’ Keplinger had a goal of $3,800 and we went over her goal. We all acknowledge that the success would not have been there if volunteers did not give, tirelessly, to the mission. Putting it in perspective. … This yard sale just put in the heating and air conditioning in the next house. We move onward to our next fundraising effort.
Habitat is now a participant in Cars for Homes. If you have an old vehicle that is not of any service to you, please give it to Habitat for a tax donation and a benefit to our affiliate. The Habitat for Humanity Cars for Homes is a great program. A donor calls 1-877-277-4344 to donate cars, trucks, boats, RVs and other motorized vehicles. Or you can process the vehicle online at
Advanced Remarketing Services, Inc., Habitat’s national agent, processes the vehicle donations, including title transfer, towing and reporting. Funds generated from vehicles sold via a network of auto auctions, recyclers, salvage yards and on the web, proceeds are sent to Habitat for Humanity International.
Net proceeds generated from vehicle donations and donor contact information is distributed to local affiliates to help build homes. The donor tells the service the address and zip code which earmarks the contribution to be distributed to us at Habitat for Humanity of Unicoi County. However, if the donor does not live in our county, but requests the proceeds be sent to us, we will benefit from those funds also. Sounds like one phone call can get a vehicle out of your way, recycled in whatever way necessary and helps Habitat for Humanity of Unicoi County also. Your clean-up will help with the ministry of Habitat for future building of homes.
It is the time of the year that all Habitat Affiliates look to the community for new members of their Board of Directors. We have a very active Board in 2014-15 and adding to the Board for 2015-16 will be Andrew Harris who is employed by Bank of Tennessee and Brian Poston with State Farm Insurance Company. We have not heard from another potential member at this time. We thank all of our board members for their continued service and welcome new members to our Board.
Volunteers are the keys to making everything in Habitat work for the good of those who need our help. Unicoi County has served us well in their efforts to support our projects. Habitat has need for additional committee members to serve on Family Services, Covenant Partners, Volunteers, Construction and Site Selection, Fund Raising and Public Relations. If you are interested in being a volunteer with us, give us a call (330-6357) or email us at [email protected]
Every volunteer organization has basic operational needs that assist in making the “wheel” of the organization turn; your participation as a volunteer will help us move toward our goals.
The Unicoi Strawberry Festival was a local opportunity for volunteer sign-up at the booth. Several Volunteers did sign up to work on the future homes in our county.
The Volunteers from Media Presbyterian Church, Media, Pennsylvania will return to Erwin the week of July 27-31 to assist with a local project. We invite all local volunteers to work with us. If you would like to work during the Pennsylvania Mission Week with the friends from Media, please let us know. This is a great week to get to know new friends and to understand the mission of Habitat within our own community. We will need to provide lunch for the workers and plenty of water. Habitat projects are a mission within the housing ministry and we are working so hard to make improved housing a reality.
Volunteers will also be the topic of the month, in August, as we sponsor our first Volunteer Recognition Picnic in August. There is a team of volunteers working together to make this event one that will celebrate your efforts with Habitat and look to the future with insight. We hope to see many of you there. If you would like to donate or have a celebration idea to help our volunteers know they are appreciated, we are now in the planning stages, and would appreciate your donation or ideas. Email us at [email protected]
The Habitat Office is trying something new this summer. Megan Garman is an ETSU Intern with us this summer. She will be out in the community with resources and information which may be of interest to many of you. She is a senior in public relations and is also developing market information for us to use with supporter and volunteers. If you see Megan, as she reaches out to the community, please let her know you appreciate her volunteer efforts also.
Beginning on June 24, the Habitat for Humanity Office in Unicoi County will be open for regular office hours. The office will be open each Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for local residents to drop off or get applications, request information, make payments, etc. You are certainly able to call and leave a message or email us at any time. We are located at 203 N. Elm Ave, (Centenary House), on the second floor. You can give us a call at 330-6357 if you are coming to see us.