(2006) Contractor yard donates $30,000 in materials to Habitat.

(2006) Contractor yard donates $30,000 in materials to Habitat.

Jan 17, 2006

Roanoke Rapids - Frank McGuiness once spent 16-hour days at Rockefeller Center in New York City managing the NBC stages. Tom House fixed machines at Xerox. Acey Smith spent 40 years at the mill.

Now these three and many others, like Ed Clark and Harold Hicks Jr., spend their time volunteering for the Habitat for Humanity.

Most of us are retired,” McGuiness said, adding everyone enjoys spending time together.

The crew was together Saturday for a good cause - filling an empty storefront building, on loan from local businessman Henry Moncure, with an estimated $30,000 worth of building and housing materials that had been donated by the Contractor Yard (formerly Moore's).

Asked why the company decided to donate the materials, operations manager Dick Raim said simply, because they need it.” The Contractor Yard holds a good corporate relationship with Habitat, he added.

Habitat Director John Sing agreed. The Contractor Yard - and Moore's before it - have been very good to Habitat,” he said.

Sing said a majority of the donated material will be used in the building of a new house.

According to its mission statement, Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry that seeks to eliminate poverty and homelessness throughout the world. Established in 1976, the Georgia-based organization has built more than 200,000 houses around the world.

The organization is run through the help of volunteers, and the donation of money and materials from individuals and businesses. It is not a giveaway program” and in addition to the downpayment and no-interest monthly mortgages, the future homeowners must invest hundreds of hours of their own labor into the construction effort.

When we get a partner, we decide what we're going to do and build the house from the ground up,” Sing explained.

In the 10 years he's volunteered with the organization, 14 homes have been built in the area. The next project, a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in Gaston, will be started shortly.

The plans have already been drawn, and Sing said property owner Wiley Long gave Habitat an excellent price” on the land. When finished, the house should be worth about $75,000, depending on the market.

Sing noted that donations to the organization are down this year. An issue, he attributed to the large amount of funds sent to New Orleans and other places. He said that is a shame, since Habitat's work directly benefits the local population.

For more information on Habitat for Humanity, visit www.habitat.org or call the local offices at (252) 537-2556.

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