Article by Kate McElveen Price
Even though Sumter Habitat for Humanity has been in the Sumter community for thirty-four years, our story, successes, and the impact our organization has made thus far, remains largely unknown. Sumter Habitat’s board and staff want to make our Mission one that resonates throughout our community. It is our hope that after reading this article that you, the reader, will feel inclined to learn more about the organization, or better yet get involved with Sumter Habitat for Humanity. Until then, here is a brief summary of the many moving parts within our organization.
Habitat for Humanity International is an international, non-governmental, and nonprofit organization, which was founded in 1976. Habitat for Humanity is a Christian organization that operates in 50 states and more than 70 countries. Community-level Habitat offices, like Sumter Habitat for Humanity,
act in partnership with and on behalf of Habitat for Humanity International. In the United States, these local offices are called Habitat affiliates; each affiliate is an independently run, nonprofit organization. Affiliates coordinate all aspects of Habitat home building in their local area, including fundraising, building site selection, partner family selection and support, house construction, and mortgage servicing.
Habitat for Humanity’s mission statement is: "Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope". Homes are built using volunteer labor and Habitat makes no profit on the sales. Habitat has helped more than 30 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes since its founding in 1976. Today, more than forty years later, Habitat for Humanity is still acknowledged to be America’s largest private home builder.
Since 1987 Sumter Habitat for Humanity has served as a vessel of hope for people from all walks of life. In partnership with donors, volunteers, churches, and other organizations, we have been able to turn Habitat for Humanity’s vision of “a world where everyone has a decent place to live” into a reality for 126 families in the Sumter Community. It is a hand up, not a hand out, as those who are receiving are also working alongside the volunteers in addition to meeting the expectations our homeownership program requires for completion and homeownership. The individuals seeking homeownership and our organization depend on the backing of local Industry, Businesses, Churches, and Individuals from the community for both monetary and voluntary support when building a home. Whether you donate directly, support Habitat’s ReStore by donating or purchasing items, or volunteer at the ReStore or at a worksite, any support you can offer is exactly what we need.
This will be an exciting year for Sumter Habitat for Humanity as we relocate our Administrative Offices and the ReStore to the old Air Filter Services building at 812 South Guignard Drive. With a passionate and energetic staff, the continued support from our community, and the building of new relationships, our new location is just one of the many great things we have planned moving forward. We are confident the best is yet to come for our organization AND the work we are doing in the Sumter Community,
We hope that the common goal of loving and helping neighbors will bring our community together, and if you are reading this article Sumter Habitat for Humanity needs YOUR support so that we may continue to offer a solution for our community’s huge need for affordable housing. We hope you will make a HABIT of supporting Sumter HABITAT and we look forward to partnering with you!