Mother and daughter find a home

BELLEVILLE – A mother and daughter will be able to move into a new home and remain close to family as Wood County Habitat For Humanity dedicated its 66th house Sunday.

A number of Habitat officials, volunteers, family and friends came to 8285 Lost Pavement Road in Belleville to dedicate the home of Taylor Meade and her young daughter, Peyton Meade.

“This is awesome,” said Taylor Meade. “It is on my grandparent’s property.

“It means everything. It is a new beginning for us and we are really grateful for everything.”

Catholic Charities West Virginia (CCWV) partnered with several area Catholic parishes and Wood County Habitat for Humanity to build the home this past summer. Volunteers raised $10,000, and a member of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Parkersburg launched the fundraising campaign with a matching grant of $5,000.

Deborah Shaffer, the regional director of the CCWV for this area, has only been involved with the Catholic charity for over a year.

“When I was interviewed for the position, the question came up if I knew anything about Habitat,” she said. “I said ‘Yes, I do’ because my husband and I have had the opportunity to help Habitat in a number of ways.

“One of my first instructions was, ‘Do you think you can get all of the Catholic parishes in your region to do a Habitat house,'” Shaffer said. “I said I did not think that would be a problem.”

They had coordinators in each of the parishes who helped raise money, materials and got volunteers for the build to come down from her nine-county area, Shaffer said.. Volunteers came from the Catholic parishes of St. Francis, St. Monica’s in Lubeck, St. Michael’s in Vienna, St. Margaret Mary’s in Parkersburg, Christ Our Hope in Harrisville and St. Vincent de Paul’s in New Martinsville – all in West Virginia.

“There has been lots and lots of help,” Shaffer said. “We have had folks come in from as far as New Martinsville to help on the house.

“I thought that was a wonderful way for us to come together on such a special project.”

The CCWV will continue to be involved in Habitat projects throughout the state, Shaffer said.

Although this is the 66th house started by Wood County Habitat in the area, number 67 was recently completed and dedicated, officials said.

Monsignor Joseph Peterson of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church conducted the house blessing on Sunday. The teacher’s sorority Alpha Delta Kappa presented the Meades with a number of books in a basket made by the Mid-Ohio Valley Basketweavers Guild. The CCWV also presented the mother and daughter with some items they would need in their home.

“Thank you,” young Peyton told everyone assembled.

“Thank you to everyone that has helped with the home,” her mother added. “It looks awesome and I couldn’t be happier.”

The Meades were also presented a Bible and their house keys by Carolyn Garrity, secretary of the Habitat Board of Directors.

Alvin Phillips, executive director for Wood County Habitat For Humanity, said there were many challenges during this build as some of their regular people who help out had personal tragedies to deal with, but others stepped in and kept the project moving forward.

“It takes a lot to get all of this together,” he said. “We really appreciate everyone’s support and involvement here.”

Volunteers who participated in the build devoted 467.2 hours toward the home.

“Habitat is so fortunate to be supported by several different community groups,” Phillips said. “We love having a variety of people volunteering at our construction site. The energy that they bring is contagious.

”This is an excellent way to really put our faith into action – making a tangible difference in the lives of not only the families who will be living in future Habitat homes but the life of each person who helps. There is always more to do… Is all the work done? The answer is done. No. We have only begun,” he said.