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Hands & Habitat need your help

by Lyle Predmore

Hands Across Middlesex and Habitat for Humanity Middlesex are both 501 (c) non-profit Christian based organizations established to meet various needs in the county. With the limited number of volunteers in our county, these two organizations often find themselves calling on the same volunteers and resources to serve Middlesex County.

This past week the two organizations jointly sponsored a Clergy Appreciation Dinner, hosted by Habitat board member Dave Cryer and and his wife Lynda.  It was a time to say “thank you” for the ongoing clergy and church support in Middlesex.

After a buffet-style dinner, board president Penny Lawson of Hands Across Middlesex thanked the clergy for the support given by our local churches.  She shared some of the needs and concerns for emergency repairs, emergency finances, water concerns for both wells and septic, the furniture and clothing barns, a food pantry, handicapped ramps and other concerns for those in our community who need extra help. It was pointed out that the national downturn in the economy is also affecting us locally. 

Habitat board members Ed Fisher and Lyle Predmore shared some of the goals and concerns of their organization.  The local affiliate is responsible for local projects of making home ownership possible for families that would not be able to afford to own a home with normal bank loans.  Ed explained that Habitat does not give away homes, but sells them with a regular mortgage arrangement at no interest.

Lancaster-Northumberland Habitat Affiliate board chair John O’Keefe shared firsthand stories from his area on the difference that home ownership has made in the life and well being of entire families. 

Habitat Middlesex board member Stan Hovey shared fund-raising goals for the next Habitat build, and an “Apostles Build” plan for 12 churches to join together to sponsor a house. 

Dave Cryer shared the progress and goals of having a joint facility for both Hands and Habitat to share for their respective missions.  A site has been selected and negotiations are in process for the property.  The goal is to have a building to house offices, work spaces and areas to meet the needs of all the various activities in one location. 

Those present shared questions and comments on the various needs during the presentations.  The evening concluded with a prayer of thanksgiving by Rev. Chauncey Mann, pastor of Grafton Baptist Church.

For additional information or donations of support, please call Penny Lawson at 758-0028, Ed Fisher at 758-0217 or Lyle Predmore at 776-7319.

posted 04.27.2009

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