Lee Abney, Cindy England, Chip Stone, Marie Perriman and Scott Webb celebrate Habitat's newest site to break ground.

Lee Abney, Cindy England, Chip Stone, Marie Perriman and Scott Webb celebrate Habitat’s newest site to break ground.

Scott Webb receives a plaque for his service.

Scott Webb receives a plaque for his service.

Leila Dycus staff writer

Morgan County’s Habitat for Humanity has been busy the past few months celebrating a groundbreaking and a note burning. On Thursday Dec. 12 Habitat for Humanity of Morgan County (HFHMC) members gathered at the site of their newest build to break ground. The new home will be located on Hayes Street.

The groundbreaking is a ceremony done at the start of a new home. It was a cold evening; members were wrapped in coats, assembled around a sign with the distinct Habitat logo on it.

Behind them, a cleared lot with stakes in the ground displaying where the newest Habitat home would be built. Everyone present at the groundbreaking was either a current or recently retired board member. President of HFHMC lead the event introducing each of the people present.

Chip Stone, Construction Chairman, will lead the building of the house on Hayes Street. Lee Abney and Marie Perriman, current board members, were also in attendance. Scott Webb, a retired board member, was also present for the groundbreaking. During Webb’s time on the board he assisted in the building of many houses.

This house will be different than other houses that HFHMC has built in the past. According to England, Grady Mosley, Vice President of HFHMC, has established a list of volunteer contacts for community churches and they will help habitat build this house.

The volunteers will aid in building of the house. These volunteers will be in teams and will work each week to build the house from the ground up. The family receiving the house will also take part in the building, which England described as sweat equity.

“One thing that we will do differently is we will work all day,” said Chip Stone. Stone went on to say that work days on the new house will start around 8:30. Habitat has built other houses in the same area as the new one. In order for a family to get a Habitat home there is an application process.

Applications are submitted, reviewed and processed through an interview and credit/background check. “Habitat for Humanity believes that every man, woman and child should have a decent, safe and affordable place to live,” states the Habitat for Humanity mission.

“We build and repair houses all over the world using volunteer labor and donations.” Habitat is all over the world and is based in Georgia. The groundbreaking on Hayes Street was one of two celebrations HFHMC has had in the past few months.

Imagine these friends and family gathered around a grill set up on the porch of a home instead of burgers a mortgage note is placed atop the rack. “I’m proud, I’m free, I don’t have to pay more rent,” said Ms. Zander owner of the Habitat house.

On Tuesday September 24 friends, family, and Habitat for Humanity volunteers gathered at the home of Henrietta Zander. Ms. Zander’s home is one that was built by Morgan County’s Habitat for Humanity. Traditionally, Habitat hosts note burnings for the families of homes they have constructed.

These events serve as celebrations of the financial freedom of the residents. Recently. Ms. Zander and her family joined the list of success stories. As the rain came down attendees crammed into the porch to get a glimpse of the note burning.

Ms. Zander smiled as her family members helped her burn the piece of paper that held her mortgage. Habitat leaders explained how important the burning of the note was as it went up in flames. Zander’s Habitat Home is a story worth telling.

Ms. Zander’s previous residence was burnt down. A mobile home was then donated to the family and Habitat repaired the used home. Volunteers helped build the foundation for the new home; they fixed the warped siding, replaced the appliances, and installed a new roof.

“So many people played an important role in this home,” said Hiram Johnston. Habitat worked along side the community in order to build the house for Ms. Zander. According to HFHMC President Cindy England, after construction changes are made the property was put in Ms. Zanders name and she paid on the loan.

The loan is established with no interest and payments are made to HFHMC. “The note burning is great,” said England. “It means Ms. Zander’s property is in her name and there is no more required payments.”