Wood Habitat holds dedication

PARKERSBURG – A family in south Parkersburg now has a home to build a future together as Wood County Habitat For Humanity held its 68th house dedication Sunday.

A number of Habitat officials, volunteers, family and friends gathered at 1010 Summers St. for the dedication of the home for the Dotson family; Melissa, Sam, Ozzy, Gunnar, Kelta and Matthew.

“A Habitat house is so much more than just a house,” said Heather Eichner, vice president of the Board of Directors for Wood County Habitat For Humanity. “It is a symbol of hope.

“It is a sign of overcoming obstacles and it is a commitment that we are going to invest in our neighbors.”

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. Habitat homebuyers are required to attend homebuyer education classes and complete “sweat equity” hours in working on a number of local Habitat projects as well as their own. The homeowners pay a zero-percent interest mortgage to buy the house from Habitat.

In his blessing of the house, Jim Sallie of Redeemer Church and Habitat board member, said the house has been an empty shell, but soon it will be a place where the Dotsons will dwell and build their life as a family.

“It is commonly said that a man’s home is his castle,” he said. “I would rather think of a home as a blessing from God and with it we are able to bless others.”

Alvin Phillips, executive director for Wood County Habitat For Humanity, commended all the volunteers who have helped on all of their builds.

“There are so many people to thank every time we have a home dedication,” he said. “There have been so many generous folks in our community, so many willing hands in our community and so much caring.”

He also commended the Dotsons for rising to the challenge.

“They did a lot of work and took it beyond their requirements,” Phillips said. “They took it to a real partnership which is what we want.”

Phillips reiterated that Habitat is not a free giveaway. The families who receive the homes put a lot of work into them and pay a mortgage.

“This is not a free house to them,” he said. “They will make a mortgage payment for the next 20 years.

“They don’t pay any interest which is one of Habitat’s Biblical principles to not make a profit off their brother in need. They pay us back and that money goes into other houses we are building. It is a great idea.”

Presentations were made to the family including the home’s keys, a Bible, a basket of books for the children and a key holder signed by all of the volunteers who worked on the project. Mary “Mickey” Welch, who was the sponsor of the project, also provided the kids with gift cards in order to decorate their rooms.

Melissa and Sam Dotson expressed their gratitude to those who helped make their family’s home a reality.

“We just appreciate everything from everyone,” Sam said. “It has been great.”

“We are grateful to everyone at Habitat and all of the volunteers who came out,” Melissa said. “They have really made our dream come true in having a new home.”