Habitat for Humanity

PARKERSBURG – Wood County Habitat for Humanity is hoping to raise $100,000 by Feb. 14, 2014, as part of its annual Caring Campaign fund drive.

Officials met Monday morning at the Habitat home currently under construction at 13th and Dillaway streets in Parkersburg to announce the start of the fund drive and introduce the campaign chairman, Mike Tucker, president and CEO of West Virginia Central Credit Union.

The fund drive began Monday with more than $20,000 in pledges, including $5,000 from the WVCCU.

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.

The home – the 67th for the Wood County chapter – is being built for Michael Oyler and Kayla Corbin and their 2-year-old daughter Braelyn Oyler. During Monday’s kickoff, Corbin thanked all of the volunteers who have helped the family.

The credit union was a sponsor of the house in 2012, with Tucker and members of his staff and family helping on the construction. The WVCCU also donated money to last year’s Caring Campaign.

“For years I told myself that I would love to be part of Habitat for Humanity, but never made the time,” Tucker said. “I am so glad that I now have had an opportunity to meet the volunteers and the future homeowners. Through our efforts of working together, we have all been blessed in many ways.”

Tucker said he agreed to chair this year’s Caring Campaign because he has seen first-hand what it means to a family to have their own home and to build it with others who care about their future.

“I have been fortunate to have a nice home in which my wife, Martha, and I have raised our children. It’s a great feeling to be able to make that dream come true for someone else,” Tucker said.

Alvin Phillips, executive director for Wood County Habitat, said the local chapter expects to complete four houses – including the one at 13th and Dillaway streets – by the end of the year. The goal is to do four to six more next year.

Those interested in becoming a homeowner can visit the website at www.woodcountyhabitat.org or stop at the office at 1450 Seventh St. to complete an interest form. Contributions can also be made through the website or by mailing to P.O. Box 462, Parkersburg, WV 26102.

“We are actively seeking new homeowners now,” Phillips said.

Lisa Collins, Wood County Habitat’s resource development coordinator, said at the time of Monday’s campaign kickoff, the fund drive had already collected a total of $20,640 through pledges and donations.

“Our goal is to raise $100,000 by Feb. 14. We figure that’s the day we celebrate love and that’s an important part of what we offer at Habitat,” she said.

Last year’s fund drive was able to reach the same $100,000 goal and Collins hopes to do the same this year. The fund drive will include a letter campaign, personal calls and other methods of seeking support. The chapter also has a Facebook page which will include weekly updates and offers a chance to donate online, she said.

“That’s getting more and more common, so we’ll be using a lot of social media,” Collins said.