July 24, 2016
Twenty years ago, several volunteers approached Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County with the idea of helping expand affordable Habitat housing into the Golden Strip. On Sunday, July 24, the group’s dedicated their 20th Habitat home, for Nakita Bouie and her three daughters. Mike Hepola, Family Ministries Pastor at Brookwood Church presented Nakita the key, and Father Mike Flanagan, Rector of Holy Cross Episcopal, blessed the home.
As a participant in the Habitat program, Bouie completed 200 hours of sweat equity and 25 hours of homeownership preparation classes. During the dedication, build partners and sponsors presented the Bouie family with gifts that will prepare them for life as homeowners, including tools, a vacuum cleaner and lawnmower, and cleaning supplies. Carol Hoffman, a local artist, presented the family a watercolor, and Nimble Thimbles Quilt Guild donated handmade quilts for each family member.
This home was made possible through the partners participating in the Golden Strip build, who support the building of the home financially and through volunteering on the build site. Many of these participants have been partners with Habitat since the coalition was formed. This year’s participants include Advent United Methodist Church, Brookwood Church, Emmanuel United Church of Christ, First Baptist Mauldin, Fountain Inn Presbyterian Church, Holy Cross Episcopal, Messiah Lutheran Church, City of Fountain Inn, The Southern Connector, Emmanuel United Church of Christ, and The Ice Cream Station, with grant funding by the Greenville County Redevelopment Authority.
“We are grateful to have such a longstanding partnership in the Golden Strip,” said Monroe Free, President and CEO of Habitat Greenville. “Because of the continuing generosity of these congregations, we’ve been able to help families in the Golden Strip build strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable homeownership. We look forward to continuing to do so for many years to come.”
Over the past 20 years, the Golden Strip Church Coalition partners have contributed more than $920,000 to build Habitat homes, and its members have given over 32,000 volunteer hours. In 2013, the group received the Philanthropist of the Year award, given by the Piedmont Chapter of the Association for Fundraising Professionals, in recognition of their service.