3 families earn keys to H4H homes

By COLBY DENTON
Posted 6/15/18

Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland hosted its Three-Home Dedication Thursday night at its Century Village Subdivision, signifying the completion of three new homes for three deserving families.

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3 families earn keys to H4H homes

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Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland hosted its Three-Home Dedication Thursday night at its Century Village Subdivision, signifying the completion of three new homes for three deserving families.

The building process for the homes started in January, and the three families will move into them within the next month. Habitat executive director Tammy Johnson praised the efforts of their three major home sponsors for the homes’ quick completion, which include Whirlpool, Women United and Wacker.

“The Women United group raised over $100,000 during an event they had this year, and we had Women Build teams come out, which are teams of 10 women, to work for half a day and raise money. Plus, Whirlpool and Wacker have helped as immensely on their respective homes as well,” Johnson said.

Treating its guests to a cookout provided by Tasteful Gatherings, Habitat served hamburgers, hot dogs, desserts and drinks before the dedication ceremony. Johnson took the stage to thank her entire staff for its hard work, integrity and devotion to their cause.

LaManda Bowers, Habitat volunteer services manager, then surprised Tracey Wright by awarding her with the Habitat Hero Award, for Wright’s dedication and hard work in fundraising for Habitat.

“Tracey is instrumental and plays a crucial role in our affiliate. As a board member, she serves on our Women Build committee, helps raise funds to build homes and volunteers on the job site frequently. A ‘woman on a mission’ is what comes to mind when I think about Tracey Wright. Tracey is not an average person, she’s extraordinary,” Bowers stated, as Wright looked on with tear-filled eyes.

Ashlan Morelock, director of donor engagement for the United Way of the Ocoee Region, said United Way helps Habitat see its goals come through to fruition through its Women United program. She described this home dedication as a celebration of not only women, but also nonprofit partnerships and the three families receiving new homes.

Representing Wacker Charleston was Lisa Mantooth, who said that many of Wacker’s products go into key elements of the Habitat homes, including paint, drywall and insulation. She added that it’s astounding to see how so many organizations can each contribute small things to complete enormous projects.

“All of our Whirlpool workers were so honored to be a part of this build, as was I,” stated Brandi King, Whirlpool senior communications specialist. “I know that these three families will make wonderful memories in these homes, so thank you for letting us be a part of your dream.”

The three families moving into homes include: Mary Jo Chairez and Amy Cross, who will move into the Whirlpool home; Shiloh, Kainaan and Marvin White, who will move into the Women Build home; and Eyvonne Vance, who will move into the Women United home. (Additional information concerning the White and Vance families will be made available in a later edition of the Banner.)

Each family had to complete 300 to 400 hours of sweat equity, which includes volunteer work either in the Habitat ReStore, Habitat office or simply physically working on their own home; a portion of those hours could even be completed by friends and family.

One of the most impactful of the evening’s guests was Ricky Hale, whose family received the first Habitat home in 1990.

“Ricky’s family received their home 135 homes ago,” Johnson said.

Hale said when he and his twin brother, Mickey, saw the Habitat vehicles pull up outside their house on Wildwood Avenue in 1990, the first thing Mickey said was, “We get our own room!”

“It was such a blessing to us. It afforded my family so many more opportunities than we could imagine,” Hale said. “I never thought I’d go to college or even move away from Wildwood Avenue. Now I’m 37 years old and I look back at the impact that had on my life, and the people who were involved with it, and am so grateful to Habitat for all they’ve done.”

Hale said his mother never expected to even own her own home, but after receiving their Habitat build, countless opportunities opened up. He was even able to attend Middle Tennessee State University and now works as a corporate materials analyst for a Fortune 500 company out of Chattanooga, which is based in Spain. Mickey went on to become a firefighter.

Wishing the three new families his best, Hale told them to never take such a gift for granted, as you never know what opportunities may become available through such a blessing. Following the conclusion of the ceremony, each home had its own ribbon cutting to signify its completion, and tours were given.

Habitat for Humanity is located at 300 Grove Ave. S.W., Cleveland TN 37311, and can be reached at 423-473-4610.

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