Public Invited to June 1 Open House
Almost exactly one year after breaking ground at 82-84 Fifth Street, Gettysburg, Adams County Habitat for Humanity is holding an open house to celebrate completion of the duplex home, constructed by volunteers. The open house is set for Sunday, June 1 from 1-3 pm. Tours and refreshments will be available, along with the chance to learn more about the non-profit organization and apply for a future home.
“Everyone in the community is encouraged to attend the open house,” said Pete Ricker, President of the Board of Directors. “It’s a chance to visit and walk through a Habitat for Humanity home and see the incredible results of volunteer labor and tax-deductible community donations—all provided with a Christian spirit of kindness to others. Each home is a total community effort.”
It took the combined efforts of 140 volunteers to build the two-story duplex, over a time period of 47 weeks including an initial “Blitz Build” in June of 2013 to kick off construction. Work took place mainly on Saturdays, with more than 3,200 hours of donated manpower recorded.
Two families are set to move into the new homes—in fact, they were required to supply up to 500 hours of “sweat equity” by constructing the homes side-by-side with volunteers and skilled laborers—many of which donate or discount their services. Habitat for Humanity offers interest-free mortgages to those who qualify. Applications for future homes will be available at the open house and are also available online by clicking here.
“I never thought I would own my own home, as a single parent,” explains Melanie Soliday, one of the new homeowners. “I feel so blessed. The people behind Habitat have changed my life and helped me reach this goal. They are like an extension of my own family thanks to the ministry behind the Habitat organization.”
Soliday, a single mother of three children, will share half of the duplex with another Habitat family—Render Thang Tong and Angela Sunghniang Pung Lung, also parents of three children. The couple, sponsored by area churches several years ago, emigrated from Burma. Assisted by Habitat Family Support chairs Judy and Bill Leslie, the couple recently passed their test for US citizenship.
Two additional exciting events will take place on June 1. Prior to the public open house, Habitat board members will lead the families in formal dedication ceremonies, saying prayers of blessing within every room of their new homes. Also, the non-profit organization will break ground in the lot next door to the completed home, in order to construct a similar duplex-style home. The organization hopes to launch new construction with a Blitz Build in late summer, once two future Habitat partner families are identified.
“Many of the partner families simply would not be homeowners if it weren’t for Habitat for Humanity,” explained Karen Hendricks, Public Relations Chair. “It’s a life-changing, powerful hand up—not a hand out—that we are thrilled to extend to hard-working families. Home ownership translates into numerous positive outcomes such as healthier, more stable family life.”
The Adams County chapter, founded in 1988 and currently in its 26th year of operation, is one of 1,500 affiliate chapters throughout the U.S. and one of 2,050 Habitat for Humanity chapters world-wide. This nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry has provided more than 600,000 affordable houses to more than 3 million people since being founded by Millard and Linda Fuller in 1976.
“Your group is so committed to building homes for low-income families. Your board and volunteers are such professional and caring community members,” wrote a 2012 partner family. In a thank you letter to the board, the family continued, “We are so happy with our new home… You will never know how much you have touched our lives.”
The board is extremely grateful to donors who provided the following services or materials during construction:
- Hubert Snyder, Jr – residential design and CAD drafting service
- Zachary Fontaine, Gettysburg – electrical work
- Gary E. Hartman – legal work
- Dow Chemical – foam insulation board, house wrap & tape, and window sealing tape
- Hunter Douglas – window blinds
- Square D – electrical components
- Valspar – paint
- Yale – door knobs and locksets
- Master Brand Cabinets – kitchen and bathroom cabinets
- Whirlpool – refrigerators and ranges
Fourteen covenant churches in Adams County provide financial support and volunteer labor to the organization: Chapel Hill Church of God, York Springs; Christ Lutheran, Gettysburg; First Baptist, Gettysburg; Gettysburg Church of the Brethren, Gettysburg; Gettysburg Presbyterian, Gettysburg; Gettysburg United Methodist, Gettysburg; Lower Marsh Creek Presbyterian, Gettysburg; Prince of Peace Episcopal, Gettysburg; St. Francis Xavier, Gettysburg; St. James Lutheran, Gettysburg; St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran, Littlestown; Trinity Lutheran, Arendtsville; Trinity United Church of Christ, Gettysburg; and Zion United Church of Christ, Arendtsville.
Adams County Habitat for Humanity is grateful for all monetary donations; as well as donated/discounted construction materials, appliances, and services; or donations of land and lots for future building. All donations are tax-deductible—the organization is a 501 (c) (3).
To volunteer with Adams County Habitat for Humanity, contact volunteer committee chair Bob Remaley at firstname.lastname@example.org . For more information, check the Adams County Habitat for Humanity Facebook page at www.facebook.com/adamscountyhabitat or the website at www.habitatadamspa.org or call 717-334-5557.
Nineteen community members serve on the organization’s board of directors. Officers include: Pete Ricker, President; Bill Tyson, Vice President; Pete Wilson, Treasurer; Lori Wright, Secretary; Bob Boehner, Mortgage Servicing Treasurer; Karen Hendricks, Public Relations; Sue Pindle, Selection Chair.
Adams County Habitat for Humanity follows the vision of Habitat for Humanity International: A world where everyone has a decent place to live. And the mission of Habitat for Humanity International is as follows: Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.