Habitat for Humanity celebrates 20 years in Darlington County Darlington County Habitat for Humanity dedicates home to Angela KnoxBy Jana E. Pye, Editor, email@example.com
The mission statement is simple: Seeking to put God’s love into action, Darlington County Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, community and hope.
On Sunday, August 7, volunteers and board members of the Darlington County Habitat for Humanity joined together for a dedication and blessing ceremony for the Knox family on Hampton Street in Hartsville,; the home marks the 43rd home for the organization that celebrated their 20th anniversary this summer.
Homeowner Angela Knox, mother of four, was thrilled to show her home to the volunteers, many of whom worked on the home from the beginning.
“I want to thank God for blessing me with my new home, and my Habitat family for helping me,” said Knox. She says that her favorite room is the living room – and although she has only stayed in the home for two nights, it feels like home.
Habitat’s executive director Mark Haenchen shared that the home had been “quite an endeavor,” with many obstacles that were unrelated to the building, the long build time allowed volunteers to help on it from all across the nation.
“This has given us the opportunity to have many volunteers work on this home from all over the country,” said Haenchen. “From New York, Maryland, Washington D.C., with one group that has been here two years in a row. We’ve made it a success.”
The faith based non-profit celebrated their 20th anniversary, having started in July of 1996 – the same time that the City of Hartsville won the All America City Award. With the city winning the title again, Habitat was one of the many presentations in the competetion to help bolster the win.
“This our 20th anniversary, we started in July 1996 and in that time we have built 43 homes, we have helped in the neighborhood with well over 100 homes either by rebuilding them or putting in new air conditioning or a brush with kindness to get them fixed up for the neighborhood.” said Haenchen. “We have also built 66 homes overseas to help those people with our tithe. Every house we build here, we build one in Haiti, and this year we built five houses in Haiti – that is a great accomplishment for 20 years.”
The first Habitat house was in Darlington, the home of Katie Mae Robinson.
Currently in construction is another on Hampton Street and on Promise Acres in Hartsville. According to Haenchen, Habitat is ready to build one at 316 Edwards Street in Darlington. That home will be the second four-bedroom home for the mission, and will feature handicapped accessible features, as one of the children of the family has disabilities.
Volunteers meet to build most Tuesday mornings with varying leaders, and put together a group on Saturday mornings as well. New volunteers approach wanting to help often; one of the easiest tasks for non-builders is putting in the new laminate flooring in the kitchens that snaps in and looks like tile.
Most of the building materials used in the homes is also available for sale in the two ReStores.
Jay Davis has been the board chairman for one year. “This has been a great experience,” says Davis. “Really the fun I have- what I really enjoy -is coming out and working. We have a group from church of 5 or 6 guys we come out on Tuesday mornings. We worked on this house several weeks, and we are working on one now in Promise Acres. It’s a good time to get together with guys and see who has the biggest and best power tools. It’s a lot of fun.”
Bene Brockman has been on the board off and on for about 15 years. “This is just a wonderful organization – we are giving people a hand up instead of a hand out. We have wonderful people here in Darlington County it just touches our hearts that we can work with them so they can obtain home ownership.”
Dr. Dan Sansbury, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, gave the invocation and benediction at the ceremony, shared how the ministry has helped his congregation. “This brings out a lot of people; many people think ministry is what you do on Sunday mornings but Habitat is what you do throughout the week. A lot of people that may not take a leadership position in “churchy” things are more than happy to be in the community, with a hammer, plumbing and painting. God can use all these skills and abilities and this is the beautiful result.”
Darlington County Habitat for Humanity is an interdenominational Christian housing ministry whose mission is to eliminate poverty housing in Darlington County. An affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, Darlington County Habitat is responsible for developing its own programs and funding.
Board of Directors: Mr. John Davis, Affiliate Chair; Mrs. Audrey Tripp; Mr. Cody Mitchell; Mr. Joseph Kelly; Mr. Bill Mixon; Mrs. Myshell Johnson; Mr. Emanuel Simon; Mr. Richard Porter; Mr. Scott Cameron; Miss Mary Catherine Farrell; Mr. Richard Cook; Mrs. Thomasena Scott; Mr. Calvin King; Mrs. Carol Bishop; Ms. Dawn Anthony; Ms. Deidre Odom; Mr. Marek Calhoun; Mrs. Bene Brockman; and Mr. Richard Boiteau.
To learn more, visit: www.darcohabitat.org or call: 843-383-8500.
Proceeds from the Darlington County Habitat for Humanity ReStores provide a self-sustaining funding source to build homes, and provide the local community with low-cost building and home improvement materials.
Hartsville: 120 W. Washington Street 843-383-8517; Manager: Jack Wilson
Darlington: 1106 S Main St 843-944-0314; Manager: Ben Schmeltz