Both contributions will be used by Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland to support rebuilding initiatives that are expected to continue for the next three to five years.
One gift came from Toyota of Cleveland whose representatives presented the local Habitat affiliate a $7,800 check. The funds were raised through a May promotion in which the local dealership donated a portion of the proceeds from every vehicle sold off the local lot during the month.
The Toyota donation was made by the dealership’s Eddie Triplett who pointed out in a Habitat for Humanity news release that the funds are earmarked for long-term recovery efforts in Cleveland and Bradley County.
Tammy Johnson, resource development director for the local Habitat affiliate, praised the car dealership — not just for the storm recovery donation, but also for its primary sponsorship of the Toyota of Cleveland Bike-to-Build which this year raised an estimated $40,000. This amount is enough to fund the entire corporate sponsorship for a single Habitat house in the Cleveland market.
“We have developed a wonderful partnership with Toyota of Cleveland and are thrilled to have their support,” Johnson said. “Our [Habitat] affiliate has gone through some major changes since the tornadoes hit our area on April 27. Donations like the one made by Toyota of Cleveland will go a long way in helping our neighbors with long-term recovery in the Cleveland and Bradley County area.”
Another local company showing its support for Habitat for Humanity in rebuilding Bradley County’s future is First National Bank of Cleveland whose representatives recently handed over a check totaling $5,000 to the local people-first organization.
Making the First National Bank presentation were representatives Matt Jenne, Beau Burris and Leslie Christian. The banking trio made the personal delivery to Matt Carlson, executive director of the local Habitat affiliate, and Annie Kinworthy, community development coordinator.
“First National Bank believes in the mission of Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland and we appreciate the great work [this] organization does for our community,” Jenne said in a prepared statement through the local affiliate. “It is our pleasure to provide financial support of [these] continued efforts to assist those affected by the storms that occurred on April 27.”
Habitat for Humanity is one of several organizations playing key notes in Bradley County’s storm recovery efforts. Several of its community partners have included the Hiwassee Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army of Cleveland, Bradley Baptist Association, Men and Women of Action and a variety of civic groups, businesses, industries and individuals, among many others.
Habitat for Humanity staff, corps team members and volunteers have focused over the past year on new home construction in the growing Century Village Subdivision off 20th Street. Some of this activity had to be curtailed in the aftermath of the storms in order to allow Habitat to fully staff volunteer efforts that have been needed in cleanup, reconstruction and home repair.
The local affiliate recently enjoyed a festive celebration in the south Cleveland development when five new homes were dedicated amid a throng of volunteers, community supporters and government leaders. The evening also featured live entertainment, food, inspiring words and emotional dedications.
Century Village is located adjacent to Blythe-Bower Elementary School.
Cliff Hudson, president of the Habitat for Humanity board, brought perspective to the dedication event and the property site which one day will hold 40 or more new homes.
“We’re standing on an old, tired, worn out, industrial piece of land,” Hudson said during the dedications. “It would have taken a special vision to see all this then. With the help of God, hundreds of volunteers and dozens of sponsors, what once was a brown field, has now become more than a subdivision. It has become a community. If this doesn’t touch your heart, you don’t have a heart.”