Habitat completes build
On Dec. 29, 2011, Habitat for Humanity of South Barry County held a dedication ceremony at Delene Abbott's newly completed home on Forrest Circle Drive east of Cassville. The building project was started in March of 2011.
James Weaver, Cassville First Baptist Church pastor, and Dallas LaCaze, Point Church pastor, asked for blessings on the home during the ceremony, which gave volunteers an opportunity to tour the home, offer congratulatory words and enjoy refreshments.
"I have been very blessed," said Abbott. "I am so excited, I am beside myself. I love everything about the house. It is beautiful. I will start moving in today."
Habitat of South Barry County board member Justin Gates and volunteer Mike Mallams moved a large cedar chest into Abbott's new home immediately following the dedication ceremony. Abbott said that the chest, which was her mother's, was over 60 years old.
"It carries a special meaning that it was the first piece of furniture moved into this home," said Abbott.
Habitat for Humanity partnering families are required to contribute sweat equity hours to their building project. Nora Young, Habitat of South Barry County president, said that Abbott put in over 1,200 sweat equity hours toward the construction of the new three-bedroom home.
"Delene contributed more than any of our partnering families ever have," said Young. "Families are only required to contribute 300 total hours, and only 150 hours must be completed by the primary homeowner.
"Delene was dedicated to helping out with the project from the very beginning," said Young. "If someone was here working, she was usually here too."
In addition to time, Abbott contributed building materials to the project. For instance, she purchased the blinds that were placed on all of the windows before the project was complete.
"I thoroughly enjoyed it," said Abbott. "I learned a lot. I learned how to sand, and I did a lot of painting. I learned how to caulk."
Abbott said that she now feels comfortable doing many of her own home repairs using the new skills she has developed.
"This is such a great project," said Herb Primrose, who worked as a volunteer on the building project. "It is a great way for someone to get a house. I enjoy being involved."
Primrose said this is the second time he has volunteered on a Habitat building project.
"It is good to see a Habitat home completed in the timely manner this one was completed in," said Young. "A lot of these projects take over a year to finish. We appreciate all of the volunteers who put time, effort and money into this house."
Abbott's home was constructed using the Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIP) energy efficient panel system. The home will be more energy efficient than a traditional house. This is the second local Habitat build to use the SIP panels.
Abbott will purchase the Habitat home for the value of the materials with a Habitat no-interest loan. Habitat makes no profit on the sale of the home. House payments are recycled to help build other Habitat homes in the south Barry County area.
"We have five families approved right now," said Young. "We are always in need of donations. That never stops. We are very anxious to start another house."
Young said that other building projects are currently in the planning stage. Work days will be scheduled for volunteers once those building projects are initiated.
"Our ultimate goal is for every family in need to have a simple, decent place to live," said Young. "We can only hope to achieve this ambitious goal by remaining faithful to the core concept.
"One of the foundational principles of Habitat for Humanity is that we seek to demonstrate the love and teachings of Jesus Christ to all people," said Young. "The most obvious way we do that is through building houses as a compassionate response to those in need of affordable housing."
Habitat for Humanity of South Barry County building projects are funded through donations, fundraisers and the Habitat Restore, located on Main Street in Cassville, which sells new and used furniture, building supplies and household goods.
The Habitat Board of Directors is currently planning a fundraiser that will be held at the Cassville High School gymnasium on Feb. 11.
"We will sponsor the Harlem Ambassadors Basketball Team," said Young. "Justin Gates is currently working to put together a team of local players who will also participate in the event."
Habitat for Humanity of South Barry County accepts applications for housing throughout the year. Applications can be completed at the Restore or Sater Pharmacy, both located on Main Street in Cassville, or the Barry County Neighborhood Center on Highway 248 in Cassville.