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101 Greyback Road Summerville, SC 29483
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‘The Faithful Few’: Group of volunteer retirees build camaraderie while building homes

By Joy Bonala

Every Thursday morning, 85-year-old Ned Shows can be found surrounded by his friends at the site of a Dorchester Habitat for Humanity home. This past week, as he got to work on a house on Lake Drive in Summerville, other volunteers busied themselves with different tasks: two men laid shingles above him, a woman measured siding nearby him and another person installed a door.

Together, they raise the walls.

Shows is part of a special retiree group known as the “Faithful Few.” They earned the name because of their loyal service to Dorchester Habitat. During his time with the dedicated group, Shows has helped to build more than 20 homes.

“I knew nothing about building houses until we started with this,” he said. “I feel good about seeing the houses completed — one after another, after another.”

The work keeps him healthy and active, and he enjoys the fellowship with with other volunteers; but more than anything, Shows said he marvels at the amount of work the team can complete.

“I’m constantly amazed at what a group of volunteers can do with good leadership,” he said.

Shows credited the group’s success to Bob Barnett, the nonprofit’s construction supervisor, who revealed just how “faithful” the few have been — many of the members volunteering for decades. Most retirees, they find the work relaxing but fun.

“What keeps them coming back is the camaraderie,” Barnett said. “And they meet a lot of friends on the job too.”

Moriah Hollander, marketing and development director for Dorchester Habitat, agreed.

“At the core of it, it’s just a big group of friends,” she said.

Volunteer Kathy DeWaell was modest when she described her contributions to the team. A volunteer for eight years, DeWaell admitted she has learned about building, but more importantly she said she’s learned “character stuff” from her fellow volunteers.

Charles Peacock is likely the most senior volunteer with the group. At 86, the retired pharmacist can be heard cracking jokes while he works. The group said his positive attitude and light, happy mood is contagious, permeating the job site.

“He’s just the most humble guy,” Hollander said. “He just shows up, builds and then quietly leaves. He has the biggest servant heart.”

Hollander said Peacock is known for his willingness to coach new members of the Faithful Few.

“He would drop anything to help you,” she said.

Dorchester Habitat is fortunate to have the Faithful Few, according to Hollander, unaware of any other similar type group that works with a Habitat affiliate. Of the approximately 2,000 hours it takes to construct each Habitat home, she estimated that the group’s completed at least half of those hours.

“They are basically our biggest volunteer asset for Dorchester Habitat,” Hollander said.

Dorchester Habitat is currently heading two homes projects on Lake Drive.

Five Reasons to Redecorate Inexpensively at the ReStore

You know that refreshed, happy feeling you get when you rearrange the living room furniture? We do too – and it’s even better when you spruce up your entire home with a few new-to-you pieces.

While affording what you really love isn’t always easy, redecorating the house doesn’t have to be a costly endeavor. The Dorchester Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a fabulous place to start searching for your dream home items.

Here are 5 reasons to check out what the Restore offers.

  1. You Can Get Trendy Items at a Fraction of the Cost

A lot of people think a second-hand furniture store doesn’t necessarily have trendy items, but this simply is not the case. Because other folks just like you are constantly bringing in items – from artwork to end tables and everything in between – shoppers are certain to find the newest fashions (hello, Pinterest dreams!) at a fraction of the cost.

  1. Items Change Every Day, So You Can Keep Shopping

Have something in mind for your house, but just haven’t quite found it yet? Don’t give up! If you shop at the Dorchester Habitat ReStore, items change almost every day, making it more likely you will stumble across your ideal something.

“Some people aren’t aware of everything we offer at the ReStore. From clothing to furniture, to building materials to workout equipment or electronics, the list is endless of what you find when you visit,” says Caroline Miler, Marketing and Development Director of Dorchester Habitat for Humanity.

  1. DIY Fans Will Be Pleasantly Surprised

Calling all crafty types! Shopping at your neighborhood ReStore location is the perfect spot to find inspiration for your latest project. Whether you are planning to paint a dresser with pink swirls for your six-year-old daughter or sand down and stain a rocking chair for the back porch, the elements to complete a masterpiece are waiting to be found.

“Anyone who has a crafty and creative eye, and a little bit of free time, sees the ReStore as a gold mine,” affirms Miler. “Refinishing a worn dresser or table makes it seem like new again. Throw on some fun new knobs, and you won’t even recognize it.  As for couches or chairs, a lot of our DIY-ers bring new life to these items by reupholstering them with some fresh fabric. A pop of color can really change the look in your entire room or house.”

  1. Don’t Forget to Swap Out Later

Here’s another great thing about shopping at your ReStore – when it’s time to replace the items you buy today, you can donate them tomorrow and feel great about it. Donating furniture, artwork and other household items is a good way to replenish the ReStore for the community to find what they need, and you get the opportunity to look for your next dream piece! It’s a win-win.

  1. Feeling Good About Helping the Community Is Part of the Deal

Here’s the most important part of shopping at your neighborhood ReStore – you can feel good about helping the community at large. When you spend dollars at the ReStore to purchase fun and interesting new pieces for your home, that money is also helping fund Habitat for Humanity programs. Funds go toward building houses and putting your own Dorchester County neighbors into safe, friendly neighborhoods.

“In fact, the ReStore is Habitat for Humanity’s largest fundraiser,” says Miler. “We couldn’t carry out our mission without our shoppers and donors, and every donation is tax deductible!”

Dorchester Habitat for Humanity Celebrates 60 Homes Built in 25 years!

2018 is the year of their 25th Anniversary and the Home Build for House #60 has been amazing….and the owner of house number 60 is just as amazing!

Lucritia’s Graham was the tenth child born in a family of 11 children.  She was especially close to her younger sister and grew up in a family where a good work ethic and Christian upbringing were the focus.  The family moved from downtown Charleston to Park Circle where she went to North Charleston High School. As they grew up, church youth programs and volunteering when they could, kept she and her siblings busy at St. Peters AME.

Fact Box Insert Q; How Many volunteer hours on average does it take to build one Habitat Home?
A;  Approximately 2,000 volunteer hours per home.  That would mean that it has taken approximately 120,000 volunteer hours to construct the 60 houses that have become homes in Summerville!

Lucritia has four children…her oldest son is contemplating going into the Navy.  Her second son is at Trident Technical College and looking at programs like ones that provide training for companies like Boeing or Volvo. Her daughters are in elementary school and have their bicycles ready to ride around their new neighborhood!

While she was going through the Dorchester Habitat Homeownership Program qualification process, Lucritia and her family had been living with her mother for a year and a half.  This has been a time for her family to work together; a time to be patient and enjoy family. As a part of the program, Lucritia’s sons and other volunteers have committed more than 425 volunteer hours of ‘sweat equity’ on their own home, other Habitat Homes and in the Habitat ReStore.

Fun Fact Box Insert Q; Who are some of the volunteer groups that have donated the most hours over the last 25 years?
A; The Summerville Elks Lodge, Bethany United Methodist Church, Charleston Air Force Base, Atlas Technologies and Duncan-Parnell.  Would you like to volunteer with a group of co-workers, neighbors or church friends? Call our Summer Weston our volunteer coordinator to book your date!

Lucritia loves her job, she has been an in-home certified nursing assistant for 18 years.  She enjoys working for one company that sends her to different locations so that she can care for a variety of patients. She became interested in health care when she began caring for her younger sister who grew up with juvenile diabetes.  Helping with her insulin management came naturally to the older sister. She is vigilant in caring for her patients and has considered continuing her education to become an EMT or RN, which would take about 2 more years of college.

She found out about the opportunity to have a home of her own in 2015 after she heard about Habitat, checked out the website and attended a community information meeting.  One of her first tasks was to clean up her credit report and learn to create and balance her family budget. She has trimmed down her spending habits and focused on preparing to be a responsible home owner.


Q; What is the largest fundraiser for Dorchester Habitat?
A; The ReStore is the largest fundraiser for Dorchester Habitat.  There is a constant flow of people dropping off donations on one side and shopping for everything from construction supplies to books to furniture on the other side.

Q; How many volunteers does it take to operate the ReStore each day and how can we donate?
A; At least 10 volunteers each day and the most popular donations are living and bedroom furniture….visit the website to schedule your pick-up!

Of course Lucritia’s whole family is thrilled about having a home to call their own. Her two elementary school daughters will share a room and her sons will each have their own room.  After living with family for several months, everyone is looking forward to having a home that provides stability on the inside and the outside.

Q; On average, how many 2×4’s does it take to build the frame of a Habitat Home (including interior walls)? How many pounds of nails does it take to secure the frame of a Habitat Home?  How many electrical outlets are needed for power for a Habitat Home? (Hint; a standard Habitat Home is 1200 square feet)?
A; On average 400 2×4’s, 150 pounds of nails and 30 electrical outlets!!!

Lucritia, her volunteer friends and her sons have spent many hours working on their home; she especially enjoyed picking out paint colors and getting to know the many loyal community volunteers who come out on Saturdays just to ‘give back’.  During this process, she has learned that if you follow your dreams and stick with your goals and keep praying, you will be rewarded with amazing results. One of her biggest supporters was Town Councilman Aaron Brown. He has been a longtime supporter of Dorchester Habitat and spoke at the dedication for the 60th home.  Getting to know Lucritia over the long qualification process, he encouraged her to hang in there, be determined to meet the requirements and finally her dreams came true!

Spring 2018 Newsletter

Dorchester Habitat welcomes newest Homeowner!

Leander Baker is our 59th Habitat Homeowner
On January 4, 2018, Dorchester Habitat for Humanity presented the keys to the Baker family to celebrate their newest Habitat home built in Dorchester County. At the Home Dedication, Leander Baker and her family were welcomed into their home on Rambo Drive in Summerville. Volunteers, home sponsors, and dignitaries were in attendance to celebrate the 59th family that Habitat has helped into homeownership.

25 ways to Celebrate Dorchester Habitat’s 25th Anniversary

National Women Build Week- May 5-13

Habitat home #61 in Dorchester County for the Green family Habitat for Humanity’s National Women Build Week is an annual weeklong event created by Habitat’s Women Build program in partnership with Lowe’s.

3rd Annual Lowcountry Boil

April 27, 2018 | 7-11pm
Summerville Country Club



Dorchester Habitat welcomes newest Homeowner!

On January 4, 2018, Dorchester Habitat for Humanity presented the keys to the Baker family to celebrate their newest Habitat home built in Dorchester County. At the Home Dedication, Leander Baker and her family were welcomed into their home on Rambo Drive in Summerville. Volunteers, home sponsors, and dignitaries were in attendance to celebrate the 59th family that Habitat has helped into homeownership.

Leander Baker and her three daughters, Victoria, Elizabeth and Isabel, have eagerly anticipated the day they can finally call 322 Rambo Drive their home. They contributed over 400 hours of “sweat equity” working on the construction of their home, partner families homes, in the ReStore and at Habitat events. Leander makes monthly payments towards her interest-free mortgage, which in turn will go toward building more Habitat homes.

“We are blessed to have completed our sixth Habitat home on Rambo Drive. Leander always showed up with a smile on her face and her positive attitude was contagious to everyone who came out to the build site. Homeownership is now a reality for Leander and her family. None of this would have been possible without our home donors and the numerous dedicated volunteers who gave generously of their time and skills each week”, says Dorchester Habitat Construction Supervisor Bob Barnett.

Major partners who contributed significant funds and/or material donations toward the completion of this home include: Dow, Valspar, Schneider Electric, Quoizel Lighting, Yale Locks, Whirlpool, Blanchard Equipment Rental, RLA Associates, PA, Redfish Engineers, LLC, Ann Graves, Gary Bailey, Bob Young, and the Eagle Scouts.

5 Facts and Fictions about Dorchester Habitat for Humanity

We’ve all heard about the great work Habitat for Humanity does for communities around the world. But how much do you actually know about the organization?

For example, did you know that there’s a Habitat affiliate right here in Dorchester County? Since 1993, Dorchester Habitat for Humanity has been “Building Homes and Hope” with the help of an inspiring community of volunteers. Here are a few other facts and fictions you should know about our local Habitat for Humanity chapter.

True or False? Dorchester Habitat for Humanity receives funding from Habitat International

False! Want to donate your hard-earned dollars to the greater good and know precisely where they are going? Rest assured that Dorchester Habitat for Humanity is the perfect candidate. The organization does not receive funding from the international branch of Habitat; rather, it is kept afloat by the ongoing generous support and contributions of the local community.

True of False? You need construction experience to volunteer

False! Many people shy away from volunteering with Habitat for Humanity because they mistakenly believe that they will need some sort of construction training. This could not be farther from the truth! There is always a Construction Supervisor on-site to show you how to build from the ground up, no experience needed! There are also a number of tasks that volunteers can accomplish through Habitat, and not all involve hammers, nails and saws. The Habitat ReStore, for example, is operated completely by volunteers – no hard hat required.

True or False? Habitat homes benefit the entire community

True! While only one family moves into the new house, the entire neighborhood and community is made better with more roofs over more heads. We are all, after all, part of a larger whole, and Habitat for Humanity improves that whole.

As a non-profit organization, a portion of Habitat’s income comes from the mortgages that participating families pay. It’s a pretty magical process, with neighbors building community with neighbors. Our homeowners’ mortgage payments go into a revolving fund that is only used to build more affordable housing.

True or False? Habitat Gives Houses Away for Free

False! Habitat homes are not actually free! Here’s a brief rundown of how the Homeownership Program works:

First, eligible families apply for the program and are selected based on their need to get out of substandard living conditions, their ability to pay an affordable mortgage, at no-interest, back to Dorchester Habitat for Humanity, and their willingness to partner and build their own home. Completed homes are sold without profit as a goal, so families are given a low, affordable monthly payment much less than what they were paying in rent. This gives them the opportunity to save for emergencies, education and retirement.

A decent and affordable place to live removes barriers to opportunity, success and health that may have been part of a family’s life for years and/or generations.

True or False? Anyone can apply for a Habitat home, regardless of faith

True! In fact, all qualified applicants will receive consideration for assistance without regard to race, religion, sex, national origin or similar factors. Likewise, volunteers for Habitat are members of all faiths and backgrounds.

True or False? There are tons of ways to support Dorchester Habitat for Humanity

True! Dorchester Habitat is always looking for volunteers for the build site and also at the ReStore! Groups are welcome! You can also be a part of the Habitat Leadership Team by joining one of these committees: Special Event Planning, Grant Research, Marketing/Public Relations, or the Site Selection Team.

Donate your stuff! Whether you’re renovating your home, cleaning your garage, downsizing or decluttering, the ReStore truck will pick up and remove your home improvement items and building materials for free! Believe it or not, the ReStore is Dorchester Habitat’s biggest source of income! All contributions to Dorchester Habitat are tax-deductible!

Become a Carpenters’ Club member by pledging $25 or more towards each home built. Dorchester Habitat typically build four homes a year. Not interested in becoming a member? You can simply donate online at your convenience.

Attend or sponsor one of the many fundraising events throughout the year. Some of these include the Habitat Gala & Golf Classic, Lowcountry Boil, Tennis Classic, and much more!

Tatum Joins Dorchester Habitat Board

Dorchester Habitat for Humanity is pleased to announce Brent Tatum as the newest addition to its Board of Directors.

Tatum is the owner of Mosquito Squad of Greater Charleston and Savannah/Hilton Head and brings a wealth of knowledge to the table with his experience in entrepreneurship, marketing and financials. With a Master of Business Administration from The Citadel, Tatum is confident that he can help increase the awareness and financial growth of Dorchester Habitat for Humanity.

The Mosquito Squad of Charleston founded the Protective Barrier Spray in 2005 to help outdoor lighting installers ‘fight the bite’ while working. Since then, they have protected more than 100,000 backyards. Their mantra- Passion. Service. Education. Giving.

No stranger to the nonprofit world, Tatum plays a heavy role in Malaria No More, and has recently taken a mission trip to Cameroon, Africa to see the effects and progress his company’s contributions toward educational programs and awareness about malaria have made.

“I want to be a part of a bigger picture,” Tatum said. “I want to contribute to my community and bring my daughters into it as well. They need to learn it’s not all about them, that there is a greater need.”

“Dorchester Habitat for Humanity is blessed and thankful to have Brent on board,” said President and CEO Jaye Elliott. “His years of management experience in all aspects of business will greatly benefit our organization.”

Dorchester Habitat welcomes newest Homeowner!

Rezinda White’s Story; Talking the Talk?  You had Better be Walking the Walk!

You have to walk the walk if you are going to talk the talk.

If we want to set a good example as parents and stand on principals instead of taking the easy way out, this is an absolute truth.  Rezinda White walks the walk and has done so throughout a life of challenges.  Proof of this is apparent in her amazing work history and the legacy she leaves in her children.

It all began where Rezinda was raised in Cottageville.  Her grandparents owned 100 acres and her grandmother and her mother were the first female loggers in South Carolina.  They gave estimates to area landowners to buy their timber and took it to area mills.  When she wasn’t busy wielding her chainsaw and setting a good example for her three daughters, her mother was driving the school bus.  Unfortunately, Rezinda’s father became increasingly abusive to his wife and daughters and her mother had to end her marriage and get a new start.  She quit logging and started painting homes…this is where Rezinda learned one of her first skills: master woodwork and wall painter!

Her life of unique careers continued when she turned 16 and became a school bus driver.  Back then, they would hire teens to drive busses…an unbelievable idea now, considering the huge responsibility involved in maneuvering a 3 ton vehicle bearing priceless (but distracting) children through traffic and other obstacles.  Disruptive youngsters who stood on seats to cause trouble found themselves hanging on for dear life when Rezinda hit the brakes to keep her passengers in order.

After graduating from high school in Walterboro, Rezinda worked at bakeries in the Piggly Wiggly in Summerville and the K-Mart on Rivers Avenue.  It was here that Rezinda began what would be a lifelong career as a talented cake decorator.  She had her first son Brad and met a handsome navy ensign who would sweep her off her feet and off to Florida as a navy wife.  While her husband Joe was out on ships for three months at a time, Rezinda went to work at Kroger…again in the bakery.  Her second son P.J. was born in the hospital…but just barely…she was whisked out of the taxi and in the hospital hallway where out he came!

Rezinda and Joe were married for about 4 years and their third son Justin was born after they moved back to South Carolina.  When she and her husband separated, she moved to Summerville with her three sons for a new start.

The challenge was that they were really starting from scratch; living in a mobile home with just a bed and a TV, they met a ministry team from Riverbend Baptist Church.  The church also had a mobile home in the park set up to support families and get children involved in community outreach.  They invited Rezinda and her family into the fold and eventually Rezinda earned a job as the church secretary and later became the director of their daycare for three years.  This experience with early childhood development gave Rezinda an idea…why not open her own after school program as a 501-C3 classroom?  She teamed up with a landlord who had a building with 4 apartments, got school donations and wrote grants. As a result her ‘Good News’ after school program opened for four and five year olds.

Over the next 10 years, Rezinda set up several after school programs with churches and schools.  She combined earnings from these programs with income from working at grocery stores and for several years also had her own bakery.  Some days she would drive from Ladson in the early morning to work in a grocery store bakery in Mt. Pleasant and rush back to North Charleston to welcome students to her after school program by 3:00.

Rezinda’s creative solutions for providing a living and quality of life for her family proved successful.  Her sons have grown up to be amazing young men.  Could it be that the artistry that she has shown creating cakes for every occasion has been transferred to her sons in different ways?

Here is the irony…  Her oldest son Brad has moved to Australia and is a video game designer with a successful studio.  Her youngest son Justin is an IT expert.  Rezinda is still learning how to use her GPS…she prefers to get good directions written down on paper the old fashioned way!  Her son P.J. is an entrepreneur with a window tinting business.  Some of the best payback from her sons? Two adorable grandchildren!  What did she do as a parent to get such great results?  When asked that question she says “I never let them go to people’s houses that I didn’t know.”  The whole family was also very affected by the Christian love and the relationships they shared at Riverbend Baptist Church during some tough times.

By 2015, Rezinda’s sons were independent young men on different roads to success, but she had not settled down in a home of her own.  She was bouncing around from apartment to apartment when her son Justin invited her to move in with him while they created a strategy to find her a home of her own.  One day she was watching TV and saw a commercial for Dorchester Habitat for Humanity.  Her investigation led to her being accepted into their homeownership program and the beginning of a two year process.  Rezinda has been through a five session program to get her finances in order, to repair her credit rating and to save enough money in the bank for her down payment, closing costs and also save an emergency fund.

In November, Rezinda got a call saying funding was secured for her home and she and Justin jumped for joy!  She has been painting houses all her life, so has really enjoyed her volunteer time applying her paint brush talents on the Habitat houses built in recent months with her neighbors Valorie, Latasha and Shirley.

Rezinda cut the ribbon to her new home on Saturday, May 20th alongside her family and sponsor Duncan- Parnell. She is looking forward to finally having a home of her own and a place for those grandchildren to come and play.  She is still baking and after more than 30 years with her reputation as ‘the cake lady’, retirement is not an option.  If you want to be inspired, take some time to volunteer on this home build on a Habitat Home.  Meet the team of faithful volunteers, many of whom show up every Saturday just because they are servant leaders and ask yourself…are you walking the walk?

Duncan Parnell sponsors 57th Home!

Duncan Parnell breakfast with Rezinda

Dorchester Habitat for Humanity is forever grateful for their new partnership with Duncan Parnell for their 57th Home on Rambo Drive for future Homeowner Rezinda White.  Duncan Parnell is proud to announce that this is their third Habitat for Humanity Home build. The Company has partnered with Habitat for Humanity affiliates in Charlotte and Raleigh to build Habitat Homes.

Duncan Parnell is an independent, family-owned business based in Charlotte, NC but has many branches throughout Charleston. Since 1946, Duncan Parnell has been the trusted supplier to construction contractors, engineers, surveyors, architects and designers. From Autodesk software to Trimble equipment to 3D products and cloud-based construction information management systems, Duncan Parnell specializes in providing high quality hardware, innovative software, and invaluable services to make projects successful.

Dorchester Habitat for Humanity and Duncan Parnell are truly blessed to partner with Rezinda White in building and owning her own home. Rezinda is a master cake decorator and has worked in the Publix bakery for many years, using her talent to bake and decorate cakes to make extra income. Rezinda is a hard worker with a sweet spirit and loves to spend time with her children and grandchildren.

Join us in helping Rezinda build and own her home. We invite everyone to pick up a hammer and build with us.

Want to help us build? Click below to pick your volunteer day!

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Publix Super Markets Charities donates $4 million to over 80 Habitat for Humanity Affiliates!

Publix check

In honor of Publix founder George W. Jenkins on what would have been his 108th birthday, Publix Super Markets Charities announced a donation of $4 million to more than 80 Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the Southeast. The donation will provide funding to build 40 new houses in 2016 as well as increase support to more than 60 affiliates whom Publix Charities currently funds.

This generous donation continues the Publix Charities commitment to meeting the basic needs of the communities it serves through additional financial support for housing. The average price to sponsor a house is $77,000.

“Every family deserves an opportunity to have a roof over their heads and food on their table,” said Carol Jenkins Barnett, president of Publix Super Markets Charities. “My father established our foundation in 1966 with a strong desire to see our communities thrive. Forty-nine years later, we are continuing his legacy.”

Where possible, Publix Super Markets associates will participate in building the Habitat for Humanity houses in 2016 during the Publix Serves campaign—an opportunity for Publix associates to gather together to make an impactful difference in their communities. Publix will donate groceries to fill the pantries of the new homes Publix Charities sponsors.

Publix Charities began its support of Habitat for Humanity in 1989 with its first contribution to Habitat for Humanity of East Polk County (Winter Haven, Fla.). The foundation has continued its support, donating more than $1.1 million to Habitat for Humanity affiliates in 2014. This year’s $4 million contribution to Habitat for Humanity affiliates is more than three times the amount previously given in any year.