Community efforts celebrated with first Habitat dinner

Monday, May 3, 2021
Executive Director David L. English speaks on how Putnam County Habitat for Humanity has grown its community outreach during its first dinner Saturday evening.
Banner Graphic/BRAND SELVIA

The proverb goes that it takes a village to raise a child. In other words, it takes an entire community must support children to ensure that they grow up in a safe, healthy environment.

For Habitat for Humanity, monetary as well as physical investments from businesses, organizations and the community at large have been instrumental. These efforts were highlighted during its first dinner at Owl Ridge Event Center in Greencastle Saturday evening.

Being the event’s main speakers, Habitat’s executive director David L. English and board president Scott Dunbar spoke on how the chapter has been invigorated with its build on Albin Pond Road for the Hubbard-Hoagland family. Getting to this point has been years in the making.

Habitat for Humanity in Putnam County was established in 1988, and, not including the current build, 18 homes have been built in Greencastle, Bainbridge and Roachdale since. Dunbar provided that the last Habitat home was built in 2013, after which the chapter became inactive.

Habitat Board President Scott Dunbar conducts the "business meeting" during the dinner.
Banner Graphic/BRAND SELVIA

Habitat lost its standing with the national organization due to not completing a build within three years. With the Albin Pond Road build, it has now entered into conditional good standing. This only means moving forward.

Dunbar added that Habitat’s board has been brought back to its full potential, in which it is a diverse group of community leaders who bring different perspectives. The chapter has also established committees devoted to outreach and coordinating needs.

Still, they needed a vote of confidence. With ayes all around, the room approved Dunbar as president, Samantha Cooper as vice president, Ashley Burns as treasurer and Jake Widner as secretary during a “business meeting” at the dinner.

English spoke to the philosophy behind Habitat as a Christian organization. He said the point is to “give a hand up, not a handout.” Families must put in sweat equity throughout the process.

They must make a down payment at the start, and then are expected to pay a mortgage. Habitat acts as a mediator through which that mortgage is given to a bank, and it also provides guidance on budgeting and other life skills.

English noted that Olivia Hoagland and Chase Hubbard — whom the current home is being built for — have devoted at least 500 man-hours to the project. They have not been doing it alone, either physically or financially.

The current Habitat home on Albin Pond Road, which is being built for the Hubbard-Hoagland family. The home is expected to be complete by the start of school.
Banner Graphic/BRAND SELVIA

The Kiwanis and Rotary clubs together have donated $750 to the build. Fillmore Christian Church, First Baptist Church, Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church and Amity Baptist Church have contributed $4,100. The Putnam County Community Foundation, Putnam County Board of Realtors, Happy Scrappers Club, Network for Good and the DePauw University Bonner Program have given more than $7,000.

Among the businesses which have donated or discounted materials for the project include Holdfast Technologies, Cash Concrete, Black Lumber Company and Headley Hardware. Meanwhile, The DePauw women’s softball and basketball teams have given volunteer hours alongside contractors Kieth Goad, Jeff Williams and Lonnie Hubbard.

The anticipation is that the build will be complete before school gets under way. Habitat also has two more lots at 30 Frazier St. and 905 Crown St. in Greencastle which it can build on. Dunbar said grant funding would be pursued for these projects.

For the past year-and-a-half, the focus has been on seeing to it that Hoagland, Hubbard and their three children have a safe and comfortable home they can call their own. They are grateful for the support they and Habitat have received.

“The involvement of our family and the community, and the kids being able to see all of that come together, is really meaningful and really exciting,” Hoagland said. “Whether it’s through donations or the committees and the board members, sweat equity hours, volunteers, we just appreciate it so much.”

“I just feel very blessed and grateful for the community, and it’s gonna be an opportunity for our children to have a safe and established home,” Hubbard added. “It’s security for us.”

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