A Message From the Executive Director: Habitat Repairs! is Working

Habitat Repairs! is working. Throughout Catawba County the Habitat Repairs! staff and volunteers are installing handicap ramps, replacing leaky roofs, and restoring heat and air conditioning to our neighbors’ homes. Your gift to this mission is restoring a quality of life to people who have long forgotten what it’s like to be safe, warm and dry.

Recently I rode along with Richard Greathouse for a “scope of work” on a home located a few blocks off LR Blvd in Hickory.  During this kind of visit we’ll meet the homeowner and review the list of requested repairs. In most cases, it’s the original list plus more. It was then that I was reminded how difficult life can be when the most essential element in life, WATER, is missing from a home.

For Sara, water doesn’t come from her faucet, it trickles down the hill though a garden hose attached to her neighbor’s house. She brings the hose inside, fills up 5 gallon buckets stored in her bath tub and uses the water to wash dishes, flush the toilet and water her plants. When she takes a bath, she fills up the hot water heater with the same hose then waits for it to heat before she cleans up. She’s had the same routine since her neighborhood community well broke a year ago. Let me repeat that, 1 year ago.

Habitat Repairs LogoToday when I shared this story with a former board member, he said “that’s the type of thing you would expect, in Mexico. Not Hickory.”  

Through donations to the Habitat Repairs! campaign and the City of Hickory, Sara will soon have water running to her home. While we’re there we’ll also weatherize the home reducing future power bills and repair the front and back steps.

It’s going to be selfish of me, but I want to be there the first time she turns on the water and fills a glass from her kitchen faucet. Imagine with me the smile on her face when that happens and how that glass of water helped restore a little bit of dignity to her life.

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Mitzi Gellman, Executive Director