Habitat holds blessing ceremony at newest home

PARKERSBURG – Wood County Habitat for Humanity, with the help of the West Virginia Central Credit Union, celebrated the building of its newest habitat home Friday.

The groups held a “ground blessing ceremony” Friday afternoon at 1300 Dillaway St. The blessing was given by the Rev. Brian Harrell of the Liberty Street Church of God.

The blessing ceremony was held in lieu of a groundbreaking ceremony, as the house is already partially built.

“Our goal is to have it under roof by 6 p.m. today,” said Lisa Collins, resource development coordinator for West Virginia Habitat for Humanity. “It started with one wall that blew down (Thursday) during the storms, but we are back on track.”

Collins said the West Virginia Central Credit Union donated nearly $12,000 to help fund construction of the house and allowed employees Friday to leave work, with pay, to volunteer at the Habitat site.

Mike Tucker, CEO of the credit union, said it was a chance for the business and its employees to give back to the community.

“We are really happy about this opportunity to participate,” he said. “We haven’t done this before, so this is a good opportunity for us. We’ve met a lot of wonderful people already.”

“This is our 67th house in Wood County that we’ve built,” Alvin Phillips, executive director of Wood County Habitat for Humanity. “This also is our second annual ‘Raise the Roof’ project.”

The “Raise The Roof” project brings attention to the work Habitat is doing locally, the need for volunteers to come out and help as well as looking for new families who may qualify to get a house built.

Habitat uses volunteer labor, donations and donated materials and land to keep homes affordable for those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to own their own homes through conventional means. Homebuyers are required to attend homebuyer education classes and complete “sweat equity” hours in working on local Habitat projects as well as their own. The homeowners pay a zero percent interest mortgage to buy the house from Habitat.

When completed the home will go to Michael Oyler and Kayla Corbin and their 1-year-old daughter Braelyn Oyler.