A lot can change in 30 years and Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County is a prime example. The nonprofit was started by community-minded volunteers Becky Carter and Johan Newcombe in 1988. Their first house was built a year later.
Now, the nonprofit has a full staff and board of directors and volunteers are currently working on its 117th and 118th houses.
Mary Harris has been the executive director of Habitat for 23 of those 30 years and was the first person paid for the position. At the time, the nonprofit was Habitat for Humanity of Gastonia with satellites in Belmont, Cherryville and Mount Holly. When she first started, there were talks of starting another satellite in Bessemer City.
Habitat for Humanity International encouraged them to combine the satellite locations to one central affiliate. The locations merged in 2000 and by 2001, . . .Read More
The repeating thuds of hammers echoed throughout a Gastonia neighborhood as more than a dozen hard hat-clad volunteers spent Saturday building a new Habitat for Humanity home.
Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County is a nonprofit group which partners with volunteer community members to build or renovate homes alongside homeowners to help them pay an affordable mortgage. The homeowners must also pitch in by volunteering on their own home’s project and/or at other Habitat build sites.
Located on Bermuda Avenue, volunteers began construction on the three-room home by framing the exterior walls.
“It’s helping somebody out and giving back,” said volunteer Bubba Kennon, of Mount Holly, who has been building the homes for about four years.
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By Michael Barrett
Gastonia’s ongoing support of a nonprofit that strives to provide affordable housing has been demonstrated time and again over the last three decades.
But city leaders sought to reaffirm their relationship with Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County this month with a public showing of thanks and congratulations. They approved a proclamation that hails the organization for the innumerable positive effects it has had on the community, while commending it for reaching a noteworthy milestone in its 30th year of service.
Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Mary Harris and a number of other key staff members were on hand to receive the declaration during a City Council meeting. And President John Lowery said there’s simply no way to overstate how much the charitable agency has depended on municipal support.
“To be honest with you, we could have never survived without the excellent partnership we have had with the city of Gastonia,” he said.
High school football players and coaches get few breaks during the summer months between workout sessions, conditioning programs and 7-on-7 passing leagues.
But for one week last month, Hunter Huss High coach Jamar McKoy had his players take a break from their workout regimens and instead pour their efforts into a win off the gridiron.
Nearly 20 Huskies football players participated in one of the two home projects currently under construction. The group primarily helped paint inside the home, but also assisted with an assortment of other tasks.
“To get involved with a community project meant the world to me. But the fact they wanted to volunteer actually meant more,” McKoy said...
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