ROCKINGHAM — Sandhills Habitat for Humanity renewed its call for volunteers for a special kind of build — an ‘Apostles Build’ — during a luncheon at Midway Baptist Church Thursday.
About 20 residents and Habitat officers and employees gathered to discuss short- and long-term goals over soup and sandwiches, and Operations Director Terry Gaar took the opportunity to reiterate the fact that the organization does not give houses away.
“It’s a continuing misconception,” Gaar said. “We sell houses. And we sell them affordably with a zero-interest mortgage. You need to make between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income. We take a look at a family’s income and the number of people in the family to see if they qualify. Then we take a look at their credit. If it’s not good, we work with them and help them improve their credit.”
She added that family members ages 18 and older are required to contribute 300 hours “in sweat equity,” while younger children are assigned fewer hours.
“The whole family participates in this,” Gaar said. “It is definitely a family team effort.”
Once a family completes “a certain number of hours” they are able to go out and look at all of the land available to Habitat for home sites, and they choose where they want to live.
An “Apostles Build” is, according to sandhillshabitat.org, “…when churches come together to build a Habitat for Humanity home. They raise the money and provide the labor and prayer support to build a house in partnership with a local family. The idea of going out into the community to serve others, in the way that Jesus’ apostles served, has attracted individuals in many churches. With Habitat for Humanity, churches can share God’s love by building homes.”
“We are taking applications now for church groups to come out and build,” Gaar said. “We are asking 12 churches to come out and work with us and donate $3,000 toward the house. If they donate that $3,000, they will get one build day per month and they can say, ‘I want this day for our group to come out and build.’ And that group can come out on that day, spend a wonderful day celebrating and enjoying seeing a family eventually moved into a house.”
Building is set to take place on Thursdays and Saturdays, and Gaar urged guests at the luncheon to reach out to their churches for help filling the gaps in volunteer numbers — and especially for churches who can participate in the Apostles Build.
“If you think you might be able to get a group from a church together, please contact us at Habitat,” she said. “Give us a call and talk to our volunteer coordinator about it. And if you know of anyone who has land they are willing to donate, please have them call us. We look for 75-foot by 100-foot lots, those are best.”
Reach reporter Melonie McLaurin at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @meloniemclaurin.