Habitat for Humanity exceeds goal for campaign

PARKERSBURG – Wood County Habitat for Humanity announced Thursday it not only reached but exceeded its $100,000 goal for the Caring Campaign.

“Four months seemed like a quick effort, since we just kicked it off in October,” said Alvin Phillips, executive director of the organization. “This made us do the work quickly and efficiently… we are grateful to all the businesses and individuals who have stepped up to make sure we are able to build more houses with families who are ready for a hand-up.”

The final donation of $1,900 to pass the goal of $100,000 came from Michael Tucker, president and CEO of the West Virginia Central Credit Union, who also gave the first donation of $10,000 to the campaign during the Oct. 1 campaign launch.

“It seems fitting that the credit union was our first donor to the campaign,” said Phillips. “And yesterday Mr. Tucker offered to make the final contribution to make sure we reached our goal today.”

At the time of the fundraising campaign launch, Phillips said they knew the four-month deadline would be difficult.

“This has been an amazing four months and we look forward to building more homes and helping more people move forward with their lives with this extra funding,” Habitat development coordinator Lisa Collins said.

The Caring Campaign had an interesting feature for Habitat fundraisers, which was a large number of Paypal online donations, Phillips said.

About 25 individual contributions on online social network Facebook, mostly during the recent snowstorm, raised more than $500, Phillips said.

Collins said the impromptu “Snowstorm Facebook Campaign” began when she started asking her Facebook friends to contribute $10 each.

“We have seen the impact social media can have”, said Collins. “We need to learn more about how to share our story online and make it easier for people to give in that way.”

On March 3, Wood County Habitat will dedicate a newly completed house on Ridgeway Avenue with a groundbreaking ceremony for another new home at the property next door to follow.

“Those houses will be the final houses celebrating the 25th anniversary of West Virginia Habitat for Humanity,” Phillips said. “We are trying to be the best possible stewards of the money we are entrusted with.”

The organization anticipates the completion of five houses this year as they also explore solar energy.

Habitat for Humanity is a Christian ministry that builds or renovates homes with lower-income families who are currently living in substandard housing. After being approved, a family works “sweat equity” hours for months, helping with other homes, at the Habitat office and in other ways.