Thursday, March 20, 2008

Canadians arrive to help build local Habitat House

This is the article that was in the Rappahannock Record on March 20, 2008

Canadians arrive to helpbuild local Habitat house
Lancaster-Northumberland Habitat for Humanity hosted a missions group from Canada March 9-14.

The group of 17 people traveled hundreds of miles from Kanata United Church outside of Ottawa in the town of Kanata, Ontario, Canada, and arrived in Kilmarnock to assist Habitat with building its 10th house.

Seven teenagers and 10 adults came in hopes of building a bridge between the two communities and having their efforts leave a lasting and meaningful impression, said trip organizer Susan Maslin.

Eileen Hepplewhite was the minister traveling with the group. The participants represented a diverse group which included a veterinarian, politician, stay-at-home mom and remodeling contractor.

The group has an annual mission trip through their church and chose to come to Kilmarnock. This was the church’s third mission trip, but the first to Virginia. Previously, they have been to Tennessee. Their mission search began with the desire for a warm climate. While the group was in Kilmarnock, Kanata was experiencing a near record-breaking year of snowfall. They contacted several small affiliates of Habitat by e-mail and Lancaster-Northumberland Habitat responded with a welcome invitation.

Habitat for Humanity building supervisor Herb Fowler prepared for the group in advance by having tools and materials organized and ready each day. “I’ve never had to find work for 18 people before, but I could not have asked for a better group to work with.” said Fowler.

The guests put on joists for the first floor, subfloor and framed the inside and outside walls of the house. By the fourth day, the group had completed enough work on the house that it was time for the roof trusses. However, the trusses had not arrived yet. So they began working on the front porch, back deck and shed. Each of the missionaries signed their name to an outside wall of the house.

The Northern Neck community supported the group by providing dinners and lunches including the Lancaster-Northumberland Habitat for Humanity board, Irvington Baptist Church and White Stone Baptist Church. Several businesses also donated food for the group including White Stone Wine and Cheese, River Market, Subway, Tri-Star and Pizza Hut. Habitat for Humanity board member Mary Summers coordinated all of the meals. While visiting, the Canadians took a day off to visit Jamestown and Williamsburg. They stayed at the Kilmarnock Holiday Inn.

On the final evening of their stay, the group presented Lavonda King, the future homeowner, with a quilt for her new house. The quilt was made by ladies of Kanata United Church. King expressed her gratitude for not only the beautiful quilt, but also for the willing efforts of helping her dream of home ownership come closer to reality.Habitat for Humanity is greatful for the time, work and commraderie of the group, said Summers.

The current house under construction is on Pond Park Road near Lancaster Primary School. Habitat is looking for volunteers for construction. Volunteers do not need to know anything about construction to help.Volunteers also are needed for various committees and activities. To volunteer, visit, or call 435-3461.

No comments: