Members of the MCCGD celebrate their new home by helping Habitat for Humanity build a new home for a member of the congregation
LisaMarie Martinez | Special Contributor firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s a popular saying that goes: “We can take a minute to know someone, an hour to like them, a day to love them, but it would take our whole lives to forget them.”
These words ring very true for the most recent recipient of a Habitat home, whose family is a member of the Metropolitan Community Church of Greater Dallas.
With their recent move to their new location in Carrollton, the members of MCCGD have already begun their mission to serve others within the surrounding communities by volunteering, this summer, to be a part of the North Collin County Habitat for Humanity project.
In the more than 20 years since it began, this branch of Habitat for Humanity has built 63 homes with a service area that includes Frisco, Celina, Melissa, Mckinney, Princeton and all the way to Farmersville.
A typical Habitat home is built within a 12-week span of time, depending on the amount of volunteer participation. The sponsors of this project were Stonebriar Community Church Frisco, led by Pastor Roy Williamson, and The Hartford. They funded the building of the house and supplied volunteers.
Additionally, groups, such as the information technology company IOLAP and churches, including MCCGD, got involved to provide the additional volunteers necessary to complete the project, which was ahead of schedule by four weeks. Key personnel, besides the volunteers, were house leader Russ Waite, volunteer coordinator Andrea Tabor and recipient mentor Dawn Serr.
Knowing the recipient personally and having her family as a member of their congregation, MCCGD Pastor Colleen Darraugh and her congregation said they were delighted to be a part of the project, even if in a small way.
“This project is about relationships; it’s about our mission, about serving, to move into the community and outside of our church walls,” Darraugh said. “It’s about meeting a need.”
There are many ways to support a Habitat build, the pastor stressed, regardless of one’s physical handicaps or scheduling conflicts.
“Collecting water or praying for the safety of the volunteers, the well being of the family or for a successful build, are just some of the ways anyone can support these kinds of projects,” Darraugh said.
Gene Goodwin, a friend of the recipient and fellow MCCGD member, was part of the build since the beginning and helped to put up doors and paint baseboards.
Other MCCGD members who were unskilled in carpentry, like Milly Crawford and Mary Ann Miller, discovered that every job was important as they held the tall ladders when necessary or helped with clean up.
Darlene Hays of MCCGD worked on a Saturday when the frame was already standing, helping out by handing to those who needed them. By the end of her day on the project, the roof decking had been put in and the siding completed; save for the doors and windows.
Hayes said it was more than just her affiliation with MCCGD and the church’s involvement that made her want to participate in the Habitat for Humanity project.
“I’ve always been blessed with a safe home, and I will do anything I can for someone else to have that as well,” Hayes said.
The Habitat recipient said the experience was about more than just having a house built for her.
“Yes, this project will provide me with a home. But I’m getting more, because it’s about being with community and organizations, and being with other church members,” she said.
She thanked everyone who helped with the project, and said she would remember each one of them every time she walked into her new home.
While North Collin County Habitat for Humanity, as with other Habitat branches, relies on large donations from churches and organizations to fund the homes the agency builds, anyone can give donate to the organization and in any amount. Word of mouth and fundraisers are others ways by which NCC Habitat for Humanity has received support.
It takes about $60,000 to build a house and those dollars are harder and harder to come by in this economy. Habitat does not pay labor costs, which is why volunteers are vital to the organization.
For more information on North Collin County Habitat for Humanity, go online to NCC-Habitat.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 15, 2010.