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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • With construction of 1st subdivision, Habitat is seeking more volunteers

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  • Ardmore’s Habitat for Humanity is making progress on the first home to be built in the organization’s subdivision, and expects to begin work on the second home toward the end of the month.
    With the advances made for the 28-house Hope Addition subdivision, located off Refinery Road in Ardmore’s northeast quadrant, the organization is making efforts to increase its volunteer base and get more people involved with helping to make local families’ dreams of home ownership come true.
    “Knowing that you are helping somebody by giving them a hand up and not a hand out is very rewarding,” says Chuck Blehm, executive director. “It is different from giving somebody something for nothing. The people that we help are first-time homeowners or homeowners who need help. They are people who are hardworking, but they just don’t have the income to make repairs on their present home or be able to cover closing costs or a down payment required to purchase a home. This is an opportunity to give them a hand up.”
    When it comes to the first home, the local non-profit organization, in its 19th year, saw the brick arrive this week for completing one of the final tasks. For the second home, the foundation will be poured in late June, with a wall raising for the family expected to take place following the Fourth of July.
    As the organization continues building homes in the subdivision for families who meet the qualification, the organization is looking to grow its volunteer base.
    “It is crucial to our success,” Blehm says.
    Ardmore’s Habitat for Humanity program is seeking volunteers to help on several committees, including public relations, fundraising, volunteers, construction, family support and church relations.
    Blehm says some of those committees currently have one person involved and are in need of more volunteers. Volunteers do not need to have experience in constructing a home or building projects. For those interested in the family support or church relations committees, Blehm says volunteers work closely as a liaison between families and churches to update the groups on progress and needs of the organization.
    Habitat for Humanity is known internationally for working with hard-working, low-income families to build houses. The families actively participate in the building, and attend home ownership courses. Habitat volunteers work side by side with the family members to construct and build the home.
    Additionally, the Ardmore organization participates in the Helping Hands program, which targets financially-challenged individuals in need of minor repairs to their home.
    “We build a lot of handicap ramps,” Blehm says. “That ties in with the volunteer committee. We would be able to help so many more families if we had a functioning volunteer committee and we could get volunteers lined up to help.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Further, Ardmore operates a Habitat for Humanity ReStore, a discount home improvement store that accepts and re-sells new and reusable home improvement building materials. Sales fund Habitat’s mission, Blehm says.
    “We can always use someone there, from helping out at the store to making pick ups,” Blehm says about the many opportunities at the store. “We are even looking for someone on the committee who can market the store to the community as far as the services at the store. We would also like to increase donations at the store.”
    To share the various volunteering options within Ardmore’s Habitat for Humanity, the organization will host a volunteer information night at 6 p.m. Monday at Christ Community Church, 2620 Mt. Washington Road. Board members and current volunteers will explain the roles of the various committees, answer questions about the organization and its mission. Additionally, board members and volunteers will gladly explain their own experiences.
    “Giving a hand up to someone who deserves it, is so gratifying,” Blehm says. “Every volunteer you talk to will tell you how gratifying it is to do something for Habitat and the families that need it.”
    To learn more or to get involved with Habitat for Humanity, an agency of the United Way, call the office at (580) 223-1540.

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